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Pacman

Registered: Feb 2002
Posts: 17358 - Threads: 358
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Quote:
GMReq wrote on 27-07-2011 08:55 PM
Efficient use of fuel, definitely a good idea. The creation of biofuels, electricity and hydrogen all require lots of energy. Where do you foresee the energy coming from in the UK?



Biofuels are already in widespread use. Pull up to any gas station in Brazil and you can fill up your car on gasohol. Far from being expensive, using their surplus biomass from their sugar cane crop has saved them tens of billions.

The amount of energy an energy crop requires depends on a range of factors (what crop, latitude, whether the fertiliser was derived by Haber-Bosch, etc), some are very efficient. It's not correct to say that they're all more energy-intensive than than oil, because some patently aren't. There are issues with biofuels (land use, monoculture, nitrogen emissions, etc) but they're a definite option.

Hydrogen can be reformed from fossil fuels or derived from electrolysis. Obvious the former necessitates carbon capture, and the latter is quite energy intensive. But they both have the advantage of providing a versatile dense energy carrier with no greenhouse emissions at the end user.

And lets not forget that extracting, refining and transporting oil involves a lot of energy itself.

Quote:

Renewables will never be able to keep pace with the escalation in energy requirements, especially in this country.



Energy requirements aren't really rising in this country. Per capita we use the same energy as we did 100 years ago. Population growth is small and the economy has shifted from industry to services, and rise in demand is expected to be very modest. Ofgem's forecast for electricity in 2023 is only about 0.4% annual growth at the most. That's hardly a scary pace.

Quote:
renewables just don't cut it in terms of accessibility and reliability of supply.



Depends on the renewable, they vary wildly. Some are regular as clockwork (tidal), some are very erratic (wind). There are integration issues involved with adding them to the mix, but studies suggest that we can actually absorb a lot of the unpredictability through the normal excess capacity that the grid needs to deal with maintenance and faults anyway.

Don't worry about it, it's being managed as we speak.

Quote:

They may make up 10 or 20% but what with energy usage doubling in the next 40 years, their impact will become evermore insignificant



If energy demand did double then getting 20% from a clean, secure, local source sounds like an excellent idea to me. I've not seen any forecasts suggesting a doubling in energy use in the UK myself.


Quote:

So what is going to stabilise the global population?



It's a natural effect of industrialisation and increased wealth. Developed nations have seen their birth rates fall to near 2 per woman, many (including the UK) are actually below that ie: if it wasn't for immigration our population would actually be shrinking.

Quote:

when is this stabilisation process meant to occur



Mid to late 21st century at a population of about 9 billion. There's some variation around that figure, some forecasts suggest it will decline from that peak, some that we'll continue to see some increase. The rate of increase has already slowed though, it peaked in the 1960's.

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Old Post27-07-2011 22:20 PM
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GMReq
Hot Chilly

Registered: Sep 2004
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Quote:
greedy wrote on 27-07-2011 09:23 PM

@GMReq

Nice graphic. Am I correct in thinking the red line is representative of price?
If so, then I don't think that price of oil will ever fall much from the peak. A depleting resource is only going to stay expensive. Then only those with the money will be able to access it. If the price drops then more will be able to afford it and hence more will be sold.... until the price increases again.

And my second comment is that the order of events predicted is not correct. The financial markets have already effectively collapsed. They are on life support at present. The cause of this cannot be linked directly to oil prices. Oil scarcity in the future may well destroy the world economy but the financial system at present only has itself to blame.

Wonder if you plotted the price of oil vs the price of gold. Do the two track so that an ounce of gold in 1980 would buy the same amount of oil as an ounce today. Is oil really going up in price or are our bits of paper money reducing in value making this appear the case?



It is really an illustrative representation of what to expect. The red line of the graph represents the actual physical production of oil.
Define price/money. Numbers stored on a computer or pieces of printed paper mean nothing when there is no electricity.

Re your second point: the markets have not collapsed. The margins of profit maybe 'suffering' compared to the last 20 years. If the petrochemical companies persist on trying to make profit for the few on the backs of the many (and I mean many), when the many are not there to grow their food and take away their trash - "money" be it gold or almost any other commodity become meaningless and useless.

The gold value standard was sacrificed a long time ago (1935 off the top of my head) to make way for profit-making. Whether of or not gold remains a reliable representation of tender really remains to be seen. It kinda comes down to sapien't' vanity so I guess we will only ever see if things do indeed turn Mad Max in terms of survival.

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Old Post27-07-2011 23:56 PM
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greedy
6 pots are always better than 4

Registered: Dec 2005
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Quote:
GMReq wrote on 27-07-2011 11:56 PM

It is really an illustrative representation of what to expect. The red line of the graph represents the actual physical production of oil.
Define price/money. Numbers stored on a computer or pieces of printed paper mean nothing when there is no electricity.

Re your second point: the markets have not collapsed. The margins of profit maybe 'suffering' compared to the last 20 years. If the petrochemical companies persist on trying to make profit for the few on the backs of the many (and I mean many), when the many are not there to grow their food and take away their trash - "money" be it gold or almost any other commodity become meaningless and useless.

The gold value standard was sacrificed a long time ago (1935 off the top of my head) to make way for profit-making. Whether of or not gold remains a reliable representation of tender really remains to be seen. It kinda comes down to sapien't' vanity so I guess we will only ever see if things do indeed turn Mad Max in terms of survival.



1) I suppose what I'm really getting at supply and demand. But I misread the graph.

2) Pieces of paper money only have a value determined by what they can buy. They have no intrinsic value. When the gold standard was in place the pieces of paper money could theoretically be exchanged for gold. BTW, I'm not an advocate of the gold standard but I do think the fractional reserve banking system is wrong. Paper money could lose all it's value over night but a gold coin always has a value.

3) The financial markets are on life support. Especially, the banking system, bail outs in 2008. 0.5% interest rates, these allow the banks to borrow at 0.5% then lend it out at, lets say, 10%. That's not a bad profit margin. It's all about rebuilding their reserves in time for the next shock. Derivatives.... when that goes... who will save the markets then?

4) I believe the debt bubble has masked the declining resources of the world.

5) Companies are "living breathing" entities. Oil companies will not disappear. They will evolve when the time is right for them. When the revenue stream from oil is too small to yield enough profit. They will have a plan to keep dominating the energy markets.

6) What about shale gas? I think it will turn out to be a false hope.

I ain't no economist, so i could be talking out of another orifice.


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Old Post28-07-2011 23:01 PM
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Andy Force

Registered: Mar 2007
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Quote:
Nomi Sunrider wrote on 26-07-2011 08:12 AM

Been posted before but it's relevant.

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-5267640865741878159#



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Old Post29-07-2011 12:52 PM
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