Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dian L. Chu: 131 = The Number of Years to Replace Oil

It seems the panic time for both green enthusiasts and peak oil pundits. According to a new paper by two researchers at the University of California–Davis, it would take 131 years for replacement of gasoline and diesel given the current pace of research and development; however, world's oil could run dry almost a century before that. The research was published on Nov. 8 at Environmental Science & Technology, which is based on the theory that market expectations are good predictors reflected in prices of publicly traded securities.

By incorporating market expectations into the model, the authors, Nataliya Malyshkina and Deb Niemeier, indicated that based on their calculation, the peak of oil production could occur between 2010 and 2030, before renewable replacement technologies become viable at around 2140.
The estimates not only delayed the alternative energy timeline, but also pushed up the peak oil deadline. The researchers suggest some previous estimates that pegged year 2040 as the time frame when alternatives would start to replace oil, could be “overly optimistic".

As I pointed out before, despite the excitement and hype surrounding a future of clean energy, a majority of the current technology simply does not make economic sense for regular consumers and lack the infrastructure for a mass deployment….even with government subsidies, tax breaks, and outright mandates. In addition, the supply chain of renewable technologies is not as green as people might think. Most alternative technologies rely on rare earths for efficiency. However, the......Read the entire article.

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