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2046RE: [hreg] Media Meeting Monday Night

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  • Michael Christie
    Jun 29, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Mike, Chris,
       
      These calculations appear to assume that supply will be a constant, which it is not. The reserves that are used first are those that are easiest to exploit. As we consume reserves, those that remain are harder to acquire, especially oil, or of lower quality, as with coal. The damper on consumption will come when the rate at which reserves can be exploited is less than current demand, which means that prices will rise. This will very likely come sooner than any flat line calculations based on constant demand and supply, and will have a conservative effect on supplies, stretching out availability into the future, albeit at an ever increasing price. Also, the negative impact of higher prices on our economy, if left untended, will be devastating, also tending to stretch out available supplies.
       
      I wouldn't hold my breath that there are any "vast" undiscovered reserves in this world. New reserves will more likely come from new technologies in recovery that will be spurred by higher prices, making exploitation of currently "unrecoverable" fossil reserves more economically feasible.
       
      To recap, what I am saying is that the problem in the future is not dwindling fossil resources, but increasing cost to acquire them. This means that alternative fuel sources will become economically more feasible as the costs of fossil fuels increase over the next decade or so.
       
      Michael Christie
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
      Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2003 4:51 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Media Meeting Monday Night

      Mike,
      You are right, I calculated those numbers the same time I was doing the ethanol calculations awhile back and I must have gotten billion and trillion mixed up.  Do these numbers look better?....
      World known recoverable reserves were:
      Oil - 1x10^12 barrels or 5,880 Quadrillion BTU (Quad)
      Gas - 5.2x10^15 SCF or 5,200 Quads
      Coal - 1.0x10^12 short ton or 22,200 Quads
      Using these numbers and a growth consumption rate = A*E(t)*exp(k*t) where A and k are constants, E is the total energy reserves and t is the time (yr), then peak consumption would occur at about 2025.  If you say that we have only discovered half of the possible reserves, then the peak would occur at about 2060.  Ouch!  That changes my philosophy - add shortage of fossil fuels to the list of reasons we need renewable energy!  Of course, someone better check my numbers.
      I attached an Excell file with calculations and graphs showing the 2025 and 2060 cases to this e-mail.
       
      The Annual Energy Outlook only has US data.  In the EIA web site, there is a section "international" that has world data. 
      I'm still pouring over the data myself, so, more info to follow...
       
      -Chris
       
       
       
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2003 3:14 PM
      Subject: RE: [hreg] Media Meeting Monday Night

      Chris,
       
      Can you check your reference please.  The numbers you gave would say we have 15000 years of oil left at current consumption rates.  I found another source that was a factor of 1000 less, after some math.  So that would be 15 years of oil left (at current consumption; not counting undiscovered resources).
       
      The 2003 reference you gave had US data.
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
      Sent: Friday, June 27, 2003 10:56 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Media Meeting Monday Night

      Mike and all others interested,
      The DOE has a division called the Energy Information Agency (EIA) that publishes available information on the energy sector. 
      By trending world consumption (modified for population growth) and available fossil fuel reserves, one can predict how long we can depend on fossil fuel as an energy resource.
       
      From the EIA home page, you can access all kinds of information, however, you really have to know for what you are looking, and you have to understand how the data was obtained and what it means.   There used to be a publication called the "Annual Energy Review", the last copy I have was published in August of 2001 and was current through 2000.  That document reported annual world energy consumption was ~400 Quadrillion BTU.  Crude Oil reserves were 5,880,000 Quadrillion BTU, Natural Gas reserves were 5,200,000 quadrillion BTU (I think they included gas hydrates), and coal reserves were 22,200 Quadrillion BTU. 
      (For comparison, 450,000 Quadrillion BTU of solar energy strikes the earth's surface.)
       
      I think EIA changed the content and name of the report to the "Annual Energy Outlook".  The most recent, 2003 (data through 2002) can be found at:
      I just found this document, and have not read it yet.  I will say more on fossil fuel reserves later if I find a difference between the 2001 publication and the 2003 publication.
      Sincerely,
      Chris
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2003 10:04 PM
      Subject: RE: [hreg] Media Meeting Monday Night

      Chris, can you point us to the EIA data?  I knew there was a lot of coal, but I didn't know there was that much.
       
      Charlie, thank you for the report and the explanation.  This peak in production was discussed at the American Solar Energy Society meeting that some of us just returned from in Austin.  I think they said the projections on world peak production were from 2005 to about 2015, with the point made that we should do something about it rather than argue exactly when.
       
      The conference was great! We will have a report on it by those who went at our meeting in July.
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
      Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 10:09 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [hreg] Media Meeting Monday Night

      Did anyone go to the media meeting with Richard Heinberg Monday night, please give us a report on it.  I wanted to go and was unable, so if someone would please let me have the experience thorugh their eyes, I would appreciate it.
       
      I know his book states a case that the earth is about to run out of petroleum.  The DOE-EIA published that there is enough fossil fuel to supply world demand as it increases 5% per year until the year 2300.  Thus, my case for renewable energy before 2300 has been to prevent pollution and increase freedom/peace.  I would like to add to my argument for RE that there is a shortage of fossil fuel if someone can put forth a convincing, scientific proof of it.  Does anyone have a copy of his book?
       
      Sincerely,
      Chris


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