Monday, 19 August 2013

Bentley & Zittel on Limits to Global Energy Flows

At the recent ASPO 2013 conference, Roger Bentley and Werner Zittel gave a joint presentation on the limits to global energy flows mainly from oil, gas and coal.

Their findings are nothing new to those who have followed the PO debate for the past years, but bare repeating:

  • Global conventional oil peak is now (will continue for some years)
  • Global natural gas peak in c. 10-15 years
  • Global (hard) coal peak perhaps within a few years
  • Alternatives have much lower energy densities and returns
  • Prices will keep going up, may go down in the short term (due to economic hiccups)
  • Move to alternatives will put a stress in form of a  growth slowdown to the economy
  • Official & Industry sources (IEA, EIA, BP, OPEC) have been systematically wrong in their oil production estimates
  • We have plenty of reserves under ground, but we can't get to them fast
  • If we consume everything, we will create a lot of environmental risks & damage
And oh yes, official policy is still mostly in denial about all this in most countries. Apparently people believed the fracking fairy tales and the future of 1:1 substitution of oil with natural gas (over night). 

Ah well.