Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Former IEA Econmist: Peak Oil within the decade

by Luis de Sousa Mon Jan 2nd, 2012 at 03:59:52 PM EST

Last week the French newspaper Le Monde published the English version of an exclusive interview with Olivier Rech, former economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Between 2006 and 2009 he was responsible for the Agency's petroleum production models, that make the basis of the reference publication World Energy Outlook (WEO), released every year in November. This document outlines the energy scenarios on which every government of the OECD builds up their energy policies. Government agencies, research institutes and private companies also rely by and large on the IEA's publication. Remarkably, the words of Rech today lay out a scenario entirely different from those the IEA has been publishing.


This is a cross post from At The Edge Of Time.

Future Oil production for the EIA has been a simple mater of investment, as long as the money shows up it can grow for ever, or at least up to the end of its outlooks. To achieve this the IEA's scenarios are more and more reliant on Oil sources with such names as "yet-to-be-developed" and "yet-to-be-found", something that for a careful reader borders the ridicule. With someone deeply involved in the IEA modelling processes up to so recently coming out in this fashion what can one think? Are the models really producing the results presented in the yearly WEO, in which case mismatching the assessment of their creators? Or are the results of the models being massaged to present a rosy growth forever picture?

In whatever case it is obvious the IEA is not fulfilling its purpose of informing governments on the correct availability of energy, especially Oil. OECD leaders are lead to believe by the IEA that transitioning their economies to a new, non fossil fuel reliant paradigm, is a matter of choice. This may only true for a narrow number of nations, that by their wide area still have fossil resources available to explore (though at what price?); they are the US, Canada and Australia. Elsewhere the process of Oil usage reduction is already under way. It may come disguised as economic recession, political crisis or natural disasters, but the reality is that these short-term problems are part of a secular, much more powerful dynamics that is the end of the easy access by the OECD to fossil resources.


Le Monde
Oil will decline shortly after 2015, says former oil expert of International Energy Agency
Mathieu Auzanneau - 30th of December, 2011

Olivier Rech developed petroleum scenarios for the International
Energy Agency over a three year period, up until 2009. This French
economist now advises large investment funds on behalf of La Française
AM, a Parisian assets management firm.

His forecasts for future petroleum production are now much more
pessimistic than those published by the IEA. He expects stronger
tensions as of 2013, and an inevitable overall decline of oil
production "somewhere between 2015 and 2020", in the following
exclusive interview.

Rech's outlook serves as another significant contribution to the
expanding list of leading sources portraying the threat of an imminent
decline in global extraction of crude oil.

Display:
I thought consensus was that peak oil had already happened?  Or is it like fusion - always 20 years in the future?
by njh on Mon Jan 2nd, 2012 at 09:52:20 PM EST
What consensus? We are talking about Science, not religion.

luis_de_sousa@mastodon.social
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 02:38:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're talking about forecasts, not lab experiments.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 02:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on how you define "oil."

The peak of what was called "oil" twenty years ago is in the past. But liquid(ish) hydrocarbons exist in a continuum all the way from Saudi light sweet to tar and asphalt, and if you keep pushing deeper into the heavy sour crap then you can push the peak a little bit into the future.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 08:52:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oh, for fuck sake, this discussion is getting really dull and repetetive. It is also barking up the wrong tree entirely.
Prediction: Within the decade, oil production will crash very hard, and very fast, but not because of any difficulty of supply, but because demand, and price, falls off a cliff due to the inevitably extremely abrupt transition to electric motoring. You know all those projections that predict a slow and gradual transition to battery powered cars? They are wrong. They are extremely wrong. That is not how technological transitions work. Once a suitable battery is commercially available (And volkswagens kolibri design is sufficiently good. So this is not a matter of tech breakthroughs, merely of production start up) Gasoline cars become as unsellable as a steam engine locomotive. Gas is dear, electrons are cheap, and the driving experince of an equivalently powerful electrically powered veichle is flat out superior to that of a gas burner. This means that the transition away from gasoline will be absolute, and penetration will reach 100% in much less than a decade, as people replace their cars on their regular cycle, and then the last holdouts are forced to do so because the economic rationale for selling petrol on thousands of streetcorners disappears, and finding a place to fuel an old clunker becomes as hard as finding a public charge point is today. Oil will then be relegated to chemical feedstock and other niche uses.
by Thomas on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 03:57:07 AM EST
If you want something to worry about, worry about this: This fixes peak oil as a concern, but it also implies that most plans for future electricity supply are scaled wrong. We are going to need a heck of a lot more electricity than most projections imply. Peak load should not be that much higher, unless we are complete morons about charge times, but total consumption will be a lot higher, as night time use goes way, way up.
by Thomas on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 04:02:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're spot-on. The fact is that a transition to electric vehicles is both necessary and inevitable, and that the timescale for the change is the average turnover in personal car ownership, that is 10 years give or take 5. If cheap oil runs out you won't be able to force a changeover of the entire vehicle fleet any faster than a decade or so, in part because you just don't have the productive capacity to make the damn cars any faster. And if the changeover happens spontaneously it will happen on the natural time scale.

Which means it is really really unfortunate that we're entering a depression because the policy-makers have reacted to a financial crisis with a contraction of investment and research. We're wasting a precious 5 years (and counting) and doing untold damage to the industrial fabric, when just a 15-year programme to set up an electric car infrastructure (charging points at private and public parking lots, higher grid power to support large numbers of cars charging quickly, retrofitting existing gas stations to provide electric charging, building up generating capacity, smart grids...) might get us out of the depression...

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 04:40:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are a few interesting consequences of a shift to electric motoring - I think it is a safe assumption that the standard electric car will have a battery pack that allows you to drive 450 or more km on a single charge - This is what the kolobri prototype managed, and it is sufficent overkill to remove range anxiety as a concern completely, which I think is nessesary to sell the cars. This means, among other things, that public charge stations will only exist, if at all, as amenities along long-haul highways, because outside doing things like driving on vacation, you will never, ever charge the car away from home. So corner "gas" stations dont exist in this paradigm.

Demand management as a strategy for electricity production becomes both much easier, and completely politically impossible - It will be trivial to shift electricity consumption around within the day-night cycle, because of the enormous battery capacity of the veichle fleet, but if you strand people with dead cars because monday->wensday were quiet, cloudy days, you get lynched, politically. Possibly literally too.

I think this favors nukes, but any powersource which is reliable on a day to day basis wins (desert solar, yes. Rooftop solar, no.) Peak producers loose.

by Thomas on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 06:07:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting: Converted Audi A2 claims new electric vehicle distance record: 372 miles
Berlin energy supplier Lekker Energie and battery company DBM Energy have teamed up to electrify an Audi A2 and take it on an attention-getting 605 km (379.9 mile) journey from Munich to Berlin, Germany. The run, conducted at night, was such a success that the team is claiming an electric vehicle world record of sorts. While the Japan EV Club managed to squeeze 1,003 km (623 miles) from their Mira on a track driving a steady 40km/h (25 miles per hour), this latest feat was performed on public roads at an average speed of 55 miles per hour. The Germans even had 18 percent of the pack's 115 kWh left at the end.
That's 7 hours of driving. With the claimed spare charge you can drive for 8 hours on a charge, which is as much as a single driver can reasonably expect to do in holiday driving (add time for rest stops every two hours and a meal halfway and you're talking a 10+ hour day).

Then again, Controversy, skepticism surround DBM 375-mile battery

Say a company claims it has a battery pack that has set an amazing range record but then the vehicle that the battery powered ends up destroyed in a warehouse fire. What would you think? Well, this is the exact scenario that DBM Energy GmbH is facing.


tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:15:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A reasonably smart pricing infrastructure should mostly sort that out: I'd set my car only to charge if either it's below (say) 20% or the price is below some threshold because I almost only ever drive short distances. You'd set it to charge to full every night regardless because you drive 80km to work.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and I need access to fast public chargers because I'm an idiot and forgot that I was going to drive to the other end of the country today and my car is only at 20%.

Leaving aside for the moment the insanity of having so many individual cars in urban environments.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:31:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I don't think regular gas stations in an urban environment will disappear. I still expect them to be converted. And you don't have to have a fast charger at your home parking spot, but a service station would sell the service of fast chargin for which you need a high tension line which would not be suitable for residential use.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:34:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thing is, I really dont think they would get enough custom to survive, unless their actual income base is as an convenience store/place to get your car washed. Phones, laptops, ect, have all trained us to plug our gizmos into the outlet before we go to bed. That would carry over to just consistently plugging the car in when we get home. - a tiny bit internet connected  electronics in that charger means it is going to wait to actually charge until the city has gone to bed or 3 am or whenever during the night power is cheapest (and power market forcasting on that timescale is pretty good) - but as a question of human behavior I really do not think any significant fraction of the car owning public is going to start any given day with less than a full charge on their car.
So any charging infrastructure is going to be a part of the amenities for travelers (hotel parking lots absolutely need them. And so on) or go nearly completely unused. - The return on investment for building a public charge station on a random city corner is going to be as near zero as makes no diffrence.
by Thomas on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 08:21:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as a question of human behavior I really do not think any significant fraction of the car owning public is going to start any given day with less than a full charge on their car.

They will if it saves them substantial money in a way they can understand - note the effort the likes of mobile phone companies go to obscure the details of their plans so that people can't easily optimise. You only need nukes to solve this problem if you decide to structure the problem so that nukes are the opitimal solution.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 08:42:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In addition, running out of battery on one's mobile is not exactly an unusual occurrence.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 10:19:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you are wastly overestimating how much money could be saved in this manner - The primary reason I expect the changeover to electric to follow very hot on the heels of the first reasonable electric car to hit the market is that electricity is much, much cheaper than gas.

Math: Let us assume that you are a foster parent in France, take care of nine kids, and thus you drive a monster of a people mover with a onehundred kwh battery, and you go through one charge per week. Top it off to full each night during generic offpeak hours, and you are out 8.75 euros /week. Most of which is, in fact, taxes. Which you cannot avoid by messing about trying to time the electricity market. So, at most, if you watch the weather reports like a hawk, and plan your driving very carefully around them, you save.. 2 euros per week. 104 euros per year. And this assumes that you are driving the electric equivalent of a SUV. For a smaller car, it is going to be half that.
Nobody is going to actually do this - it is far too much work for far too little return - Certainly it will not be common enough to affect overall demand at all. The day/night demandshifting works because it is automated and transparent to the consumer - Plug in at night, charged by dawn.

by Thomas on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 10:23:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was rather expecting the charging structure to be revisited. And for the system to be automated: specify your criteria and off you go.

And if we move demand onto electricity, we'll push the price up anyway.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 10:30:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain already started tweaking the night price discount on electricity in 2007. There were complaints from people who had replaced their gas heating systems with electric heaters and were going to lose much of the economic benefit of being able to charge accummulators at night.

When people start charging their cars massively at home, demand will equalize and so will price.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 10:42:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends. Pile a bunch of extra nighttime electricity demand into the french grid, and the cost per KWH will go down a bit, not up.
by Thomas on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 10:44:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The cost, yes, but not the price, as it is set by marginal pricing, remember?


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 07:56:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but the point is that the price advantage of picking low price days over low price hours is a small fraction of an already low cost, and the convenience cost is high. Or put simply : having a fully charged car each morning will cost you mere cents extra compared to picking the setting that tries to get you the very best deals possible on electricity. Just about everyone will elect to pay. Utilities will expect them to elect to pay, and invest accordingly.
by Thomas on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 11:22:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Top it off to full each night during generic offpeak hours, and you are out 8.75 euros /week. Most of which is, in fact, taxes. Which you cannot avoid by messing about trying to time the electricity market.

You're assuming that the tax is flat-rate pr. kWh, rather than, say, proportional to the bill. In a smart grid, this is a stupid way to tax electricity, for precisely the reason you stress.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 12:04:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thomas:
Thing is, I really dont think they would get enough custom to survive, unless their actual income base is as an convenience store/place to get your car washed.

In Sweden at least, they are already mainly convenience stores geared towards drivers. This causes some problems today in the countryside where filling up gas on long routes can be useful.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 10:32:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But if you have an autonomy of 500 km you only need to charge the battery once a week if you have an 80km round trip.

For instance, Madrid's M40 ring road is an 80km roundtrip, and I have done that on occasion when I have driven to work, then in the evening picked up my girlfriend from work because we wanted to do some errand or other elsewhere.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:32:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll only charge it full when electricity is cheap though. When there isn't enough wind and sun (say) and prices rise I won't bother charging it to full.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:41:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You still need one full charge's worth per week, say.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:43:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well yes, I guess, but it won't happen when the "unreliable" sources are compromised. This is an argument against the "we need nukes" element of Thomas's discussion.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:46:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not specifically nukes. Any power source without huge seasonal or day-to-day variability will do. But we are going to need a lot of it.
My personal guess is that this means nukes win the day in the end, and that this will mostly be accomplished by siting them in politically friendly jurisdictions and putting up HVDC lines to places that break out in hives at the sight of a cooling tower. But that is a guess. Paving over a chunk of the sahara and running HVDC lines north would also work. Rooftop solar in europe will, however, not, as people dont stop driving in winter.
by Thomas on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 08:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But your starting position is, consistently, that nukes are the answer.

I'm open to nukes as part of the solution - I strongly suspect that if they're necessary their lack will kill more people than the safety issues ever will - but it's not clear that they are necessary.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 08:43:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I got your assumption right, you are counting 100 kWh for 400 km.
In a country like France, with something like 30M cars doing 12,000km per year (ball park figures, but not too far off), you need 100 billion kWh, i.e. 100 TWh for the whole fleet.

French electric demand right now is around 500 TWh. So we're talking an increase by 20% only, a lot of it which can take place at night, as you mentioned. But a smoothing out of demand will actually make the integration of renewables easier, as the capacity to deal with intra-day changes will still be there and will be just as easily able to deal with intermittent renewable generation - it's just that gas-fired plants may work at night, to replace solar, than during the day, as a top up to nukes...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 08:03:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is another 20 percent power consumption, mostly coming from residential areas at night. - the average nighttime draw from any given residence will go up by 20kwh/8h/220v: 11/22 amps. (one or two cars) The maximum draw (full recharge in 8 hours) from the same residence goes up by 110 amps. This assumes people dont buy speedcharging gear for their homes, which I think is a safe assumption. I certainly do not wish to have electrical equipment able to recharge a 100kwh battery in 30 minutes in my garage. I think the existing grid infrastructure will suffice for this with only minor upgrades, but a lot of residencies are going to need their fuseboxes and bits of their wireing beefed up. Lot of work for electricians.
by Thomas on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 12:51:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"the existing grid infrastructure will suffice for this with only minor upgrades"

Nope, it won't (at least in the system used in the U.S.). The thermal time constants of the transformers supplying residential power is quite long, a day or so. During the day, when demand is high, they heat up. Part of designing the distribution system is to balance the heat generated during the day with the cooling available at night. If the night-time load goes up, then there's not enough cooling time, and the transformers catch on fire.

by asdf on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 03:29:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another data point:


It takes a lot of coal to make gasoline

Quick draw critics of the electric car often (miss their target) criticize EV's because in their words "Electric cars simply replace a tail pipe with a smokestack" The gist of their argument is that the emissions still occur, not at the tail pipe but at the electric power plant. That great observation is usually followed by the statement that 45% of our grid electricity is coal and coal is dirty thus the EV provides no net gain.

(...)

It is a simple fact that just the refining of gasoline requires approximately 6 kwh of electricity per gallon of gasoline. In fact electricity and natural gas cost are estimated to be 43% of the US oil refineries total expenses. If you tack on the energy required to extract and transport the oil to the refinery and then to the gas stations as well as the energy cost of the gas station, I'm sure that number jumps a few more kwh per gallon.

So let's be conservative and cut the oil guys a break and say it takes 8kwh to extract, ship, refine and transport each gallon of gas.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.  Drum roll.......

It takes more electricity to drive the average gasoline car 100 miles, than it does to drive an electric car 100 miles. A gas car at the US fleet average of 21mpg will consume approximately five gallons of gasoline which took 40kwh (5 times 8)of electricity to make, to drive 100 miles. An electric car will use approximately 30 kwh of electricity (3.3 miles per kwh) to drive the same 100 miles.

This is California and power uses may be different elsewhere, but this is still an impressive comparison...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 11:12:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm told by a more reliable source that this is false.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 11:47:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thomas:
Not specifically nukes. Any power source without huge seasonal or day-to-day variability will do. But we are going to need a lot of it.

But nukes has a somewhat unpredictable security variation which forces them to quickly go off line from time to time.

However, what matters is not the variability of the individual plant, but of the system as a whole. So lots of wind over a large area - say Europe - should do the trick, and so should lots of nukes over Europe, or lots of wind and nuke over Europe.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 11:09:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is what you want to do, but that is not the smart grid way. The system depends on not only you charging your car at night, but you also having your car's battery available in the evening to support the extra demand caused by me watching my TV. So you will be plugging in your car when you get home and leaving it plugged in until morning, because your rate will depend on the times that you have it plugged in and the amount of charge or discharge during that time. If you try to sneak out at 2:00 am and plug it in for charging, you will pay a higher rate than if you leave it plugged in from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm to provide support for my evening TV viewing.
by asdf on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 03:23:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what i don't get about this system is how it will affect length of battery life. surely the more charge cyles a battery endures, the less viable it becomes, n'est-ce pas?

so if you leave your battery disconnected after charging, it lasts longer, but you're leaching without seeding.

unless you're paid for the seeding part, or the batteries are owned by the utility...

how to work around that inconvenient truth?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 05:14:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The way it works in hybrid cars is that they avoid full charge and full discharge. Apparently the "wear" or damage to the cells occurs at the full and empty points, so they only use about the middle 1/3 of the charge-discharge range. Experience suggests that batteries last a long time using that model.
by asdf on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 06:47:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.quanta-technology.com/sites/default/files/doc-files/Survey-PEV-Impacts.pdf
talks a bit about V2G (vehicle to grid) charge-discharge scenarios....
by asdf on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 07:40:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Industrial and agricultural replacement cycles are much, much longer especially in a depression. The guy who runs the stables just bought a truck that was ten years old to replace his previous horse mover. I have no idea how old any of his agricultural machinery is other than that it far more than ten years old.  You'll have easy access to diesel - what do they run machines off in the US - for much longer.

Replacement cycles in poorer areas are much longer as well.

Taking out cars is only 40% of oil use anyway. What model are you using to determine the knock-on effects of that?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:39:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Industrial and agricultural uses involve a lot of off-roading and short burst of high power. For those applications diesel, biodiesel, or synthetic liquid fuels (e.g., Dimethyl ether) may still be used. But road transport and personal transportation take the bulk of the fuel use and that can be switched to electric.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:42:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Optimism is always better than depressive doom. But delusional pie-in-the-sky claims ain't of much use either.

luis_de_sousa@mastodon.social
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 08:15:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to clarify: whose pie-in-the-sky are you talking about?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 08:46:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
100% technological substitution in much less than 10 years. And by a technology that's 15 years old.

luis_de_sousa@mastodon.social
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 02:32:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know all those projections that predict a slow and gradual transition to battery powered cars? They are wrong. They are extremely wrong. That is not how technological transitions work.

It typically takes a decade and a half from launch for new consumer technology to achieve 50 % of its long-term market penetration. Less for technologies that piggy-back on or involve cheap retrofits of existing technology with wide penetration. Greater for capital-intensive technologies like Broadband and a replacement of the automobile fleet.

So you're looking at two decades from first commercial availability to 50 % of market saturation, and more like three to full market saturation.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 09:01:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a strategy document from the San Diego power company that seems to suggest that they plan support 20% electric vehicle penetration by 2020 (p. 217).

http://sdge.com/sites/default/files/documents/smartgriddeploymentplan.pdf

The Walgreens drugstore chain plans to install car charging stations in Colorado Springs (800 around the country) for what appear to be primarily "green" marketing reasons.

http://www.gazette.com/articles/electric-130982-charging-springs.html

by asdf on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 04:37:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The ability to support is an upper limit on penetration, not a penetration estimate. Compare "US homes passed by cable TV" to "US homes connected to cable TV" (the former figure is - ballparking since I do not have my reference handy - about twice as large as the latter).

Depending on local geography, I could easily imagine that the difference in infrastructure rollout required for supporting 20 % is not materially greater than that required to support 5 %. In that case, any demand forecast between 5 and 20 % would result in essentially the same infrastructure rollout.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 08:57:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Our looming energy wars
By Michael Klare, Salon.com

Three contested oil troves are on the brink of conflicts that could devastate the global economy

Welcome to an edgy world where a single incident at an energy "chokepoint" could set a region aflame, provoking bloody encounters, boosting oil prices and putting the global economy at risk. With energy demand on the rise and sources of supply dwindling, we are, in fact, entering a new epoch -- the Geo-Energy Era -- in which disputes over vital resources will dominate world affairs. In 2012 and beyond, energy and conflict will be bound ever more tightly together, lending increasing importance to the key geographical flashpoints in our resource-constrained world.

by das monde on Wed Jan 11th, 2012 at 01:00:53 AM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]