Davis Swan

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Davis Swan
Davis has been involved with energy policy development and the exploration of innovation in energy use throughout his career. For more than 20 years he worked in the oil & gas industry where he had broad exposure to the technologies used in the development of natural gas, conventional oil, heavy oil, and tar sands resources. He has also acted as the energy policy advisor for the Official Opposition in the Alberta Legislature.

On many occasions Davis has championed the use of leading edge technologies to enable business functions. He managed the building of one of the largest private wireless Wide Area Networks (WANs) in North America using spread spectrum technology. The result was internet access in remote rural offices that was exactly the same as that available in head office; a great success. But when the network was extended an additional two miles in one location using a laser-based system there was a problem. Fog from a nearby river disrupted the laser almost every morning..

On another network segment a radio tower had to be located in the middle of a field far from any power line. Solar panels and a wind turbine were installed to provide the small amount of electricity required to power the site. Initially this worked well and was seen to be a great "green" success. But it was found that on cold, windless December days the site would regularly shut down despite the fact that much more generation capacity had been provided than was required. In the end it was necessary to pay the local electrical utility more than $20,000 to connect the site to the regional grid..

These experiences have not dampened Davis's enthusiasm for innovation or risk-taking; but he has learned that every new "best idea ever" needs to be evaluated thoroughly before it is embraced.