Sunday, July 09, 2006

will happen on our watch!

"Real Oil Crisis", a ~12 minute video on Peak Oil aired by ABC Australia. The video can also be downloaded here [real audio] and here [wmv].

Peak oil is the point at which production starts to decline and once it becomes clear that this is not just a temporary problem of supply and demand ~ it's going to lead to panic . The relentless decline in availability of fuel will cause a crisis unlike any we've seen in the history of the industrial or information ages.
[Interview with peak oil expert Richard Heinberg / Sun magazine July 2006]

Previous posts on Peak Oil: #1, #2


gaddeswarup said...

The second post does not seem to be available. About an year ago, I read Daniel Yergin's "The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power". I vaguely remember that during previous crisis both Japan and USA were ready with alternatives like shale oil etc and could have managed with difficulty. I guess that similar research must be going on in developed countries about solar, wind power and biofuels. There are some posts in
about these topics. Regards,

Purushottam said...

thanks for checking the link ... there seems to be something wrong with the Blogspot archives. An alternative links is
here. The post is a review of the book "Oil Crisis" by Ashwin, a friend of mine.

Yes, certainly alternative energy sources are being tried, used and researched in several countries. But the main point is that none of them are as energy-dense as oil and solar, wind are still very costly and cannot be directly applied to transport systems. They will have to be converted to electric storage (batteries) most probably, and energy is lost during conversion! Tar sands and bio fules are other alternatives being tried---their EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) is quite low.
THE EROEI of different energy sources from this link are:
Biodiesel- 3:1
Coal- 1:1 to 10:1
Ethanol- 1.2:1
Natural Gas- 1:1 to 10:1
Hydropower- 10:1
Hydrogen- 0.5:1
Nuclear- 4:1
Oil- 1:1 to 100:1
Oil Sands- 2:1
Solar PV (2) - 1:1 to 10:1
Wind (2) - 3:1 to 20:1

Certainly, wind and solar look the most promising, but at this point they probably makeup only about 1-2% of total world consumption! (will try to post some links on this)

tejal said...

finally the point is, we can go from one perishable source to another for just so much time. The material needed in solar panels to be able to harness the energy and convert it to electricity is also finite, so is the material used to build wind turbines. The energy input to build, transport, and erect these structures usually gets discounted but is by no means insignificant. It is important to remeber that unless local solutions are searched and consumption is exponentially reduced, the impending crisis is an eventuality for everyone of us that depend on an energy intensive lifestyle (food grown miles away from where we live and transported to us for consumption, the taken for granted use of the refrigerator, the air conditiner and heating systems, suburban lifesyles with the workplace situated miles away, increasing availabbility of cars and degradation of public transport systems, and many more)

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