Sunday, July 01, 2012

Peak Oil: Reporter - The end of the Oil Age

Lithium Catalyst: Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Half Of New Cars Will Be Electric In 15-20 Years!

"Antony Ingram reports on the very ambitious predictions by Elon Musk about the Electric Cars future. Tesla Model S is in the headlines this week after its launch and Elon Musk knows what he is talking about - breaking the spell that Electric Cars are not as good as the conventional ones. Tesla Model S is up to this task - next step is the cheaper Electric Cars which can bring the real mass market."

"Given the high prices for oil, will we all have to pedal to work tomorrow? The resource is running out, but black gold is still essential. It's present in this plastic bottle and also in this computer screen. EuroparlTV has looked at the present and future of oil, a major international issue. How much longer will we be able to travel by car, given the prices at the pump? They're at record levels in Europe. Before you filled up without paying too much attention. But now you do pay attention. It's changing my behaviour. I'm trying to use the car less when it's not necessary. It affects a lot of people. The car's almost becoming a luxury. Are we really paying a lot for this luxury? Actually, we wouldn't if oil products weren't taxed so highly. In most European countries, taxes represent over 50% of the price of a litre of petrol - manna from heaven for the states. In these times of crisis, many of them couldn't do without this income. The taxes and duties represent a heavy burden. In the case of Belgium, they represent about 55% of the price of petrol, 45% of the price of diesel. When you compare prices between EU countries, the main difference comes from different levels of duty or VAT. Bad news. Prices are expected to rise even higher in the years to come. Today, one barrel of oil, i.e. 159 litres, is trading at over $100 on global markets. Demand is rising, while the supply is stagnant. Most experts think that at current or slightly increased consumption levels we will have oil available until 2060 or 2070. But we should reach a production peak around 2015. After that, for one barrel found, we'll consume three or four, but, given the high oil prices, investment is improving. When it comes to reserves of conventional oil, that's properly identified oil, we are sure that we have about 45 years ahead of us without any problem at all. To that we can add subconventional oil, unconventional oil, as yet undiscovered oil, and all that will easily take us up to 60-70 years ahead. This geologist, an expert in fossil fuels, estimates that we have so far consumed nearly half of the usable oil on Earth. The other half remains, but one thing is certain, the days of oil as a cheap energy source are well and truly over. Black gold was the driver for our economic growth. The engine is likely to jam up if we don't change to other sources of energy. This researcher in political ecology describes our not-so-distant future. For some people, energy prices will mean their quality of life is reduced. They will move backwards in a way. So either we let that happen and people will suffer restrictions, suffer these energy prices, and see their quality of life reduced... There will be ever-greater disparities between the poorest classes, the middle class, which will be extended, and the wealthiest who will still have a considerable lifestyle. Or we decide all together to give ourselves a more similar amount of energy, to share it more. Alternatives to oil already exist, but they're insufficient. Politicians generally are aware of the issues. The EP has formed a scientific committee made up of energy experts and MEPs. We look at which options are good for the future. One of the options, of course, is the renewable area. In renewables we have a very wide area of selection. We have wind, solar, photovoltaics. We have osmosis. When sweet water runs into saltwater there's a chemical production of energy. We have geothermal, which is becoming more and more important. But for transport specifically, no viable solutions have so far emerged. Another challenge is food. Oil products form the basis of modern agriculture via chemical fertilisers. In 2050 estimates say there will be 9 billion people on Earth to feed. We have a few decades to quietly leave the Oil Age, this time when man has based his way of life on oil."
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