When the Internationat Energy Agency starts acknowledging Peak Oil, that’s when you know it’s real. Founded during the oil crisis of 1973-74, the IEA is an intergovernmental organisation which acts as energy policy advisor.
In an recent interview with George Monbiot of the Guardian, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency said the agency is expecting that peak oil will occur in just 3-4 years time in non-Opec countries and. global conventional oil production is expected to peak by around 2020.
The IEA has also predicted a rate of decline in output from the world’s existing oilfields of 6.7% a year. With new oil fields certainly not being discovered all that frequently; alarm bells should be going off all over the planet.
There’s really not a lot of time left for the world to get over its oil addiction and bearing in mind that crude oil forms the base of so many materials; the changes to the way we use oil are going to be gargantuan.
While we’ve seen some progress in the switch to renewable energy, so much money is going into alternative methods of crude oil extraction such as tar sands operations that are truly devastating from an environmental and greenhouse gas emissions viewpoint.
One of my major concerns is that we won’t see the necessary investment into renewable energy sources such as solar and wind; but another villian will come to the forefront – coal; particularly in liquid format.
Liquid coal fuels emit 25 to 50 percent more carbon dioxide per energy unit than petroleum, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The coal lobby has tried all sorts of tricks to clean up its image – and thankfully many people are seeing through it; but in a world where the coal industry has so much power and clout compared to the renewable energy sector – and so much money at stake; I’m certain we’ll see increased hijinx from that corner in the years ahead.
Clean coal is an oxymoron.. even low emissions coal technology is questionable considering the amount of energy needed to reduce the emissions requires 20% more coal.