photo: Chrystal Parsons
Though the World Energy Outlook report by the International Energy Agency isn't due out until next week, the Financial Times obtained a pre-release copy of it, and if you had any hopes that the currently low oil prices we've seen after record highs earlier in the year were a sign of things to come, you should probably forget about it.
According to the report, oil prices will top $100 again as soon as economic conditions stabilize and break $200 by 2030. "The era of cheap oil" is over the report said. (It wouldn't surprise me if that prediction came true sooner than the IEA's estimate; only last year the IEA said that it didn't think that 2030 oil prices would be around $108/barrel.)
Some more grim stats from the leaked WEO:Current Consumption Trends 'Patently Unsustainable'
Saying that "Current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable", the IEA said that world oil field output is declining at 9% annually, and by 2015 supply shortages will become a reality. The report says in essence we will need a "new" Saudi Arabia, or 7 million barrels per day output, to make up for depleting oil fields.
Renewable Energy is The New Saudi Arabia
I've got that new Saudi Arabia: It's called renewable energy—greater deployment of solar power (both on buildings and in photovoltaic and solar thermal power plants), wind power (preferably offshore), and geothermal (the potential of which is astounding).
We need to get beyond the sunk costs we have in fossil fuels (including nuclear power) and move forward confidently, rather than continue to try to squeeze every last drop of oil, natural gas, and coal out of the planet. We cannot allow the fossil fuel giants to continue to foot drag until peak oil is upon us. As Matt Simmons said not too long ago, the effects of peak oil could well dwarf the financial crisis.
via: The Guardian
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