National Geographic Peak Oil

From: Al Koop <koopa@gvsu.edu>
Date: Thu May 20 2004 - 07:08:37 EDT

My copy did not come yet, but reportedly the June cover story of
National Geographic is about peak oil.

http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0406/feature5/

If oil starts to decline at 2% a year, an optimist and a realist agreed
on an energy listserve, that to replace the energy from this oil the US
would have to have about 1 large nuclear plant coming on line each week
for each 2% decline in oil supply. Since the oil supply will decline for
decades, that means the building would have to go on for decades. I
think that is in line with Glenn's ballpark estimates as well. That
also leaves open the question of how much cheap fissile material there
is to run these plants.

Considering that we now have about a 100 nuclear plants operating from
over the past 40 years, we know that is not going to happen. Coal plants
will make up some of the deficit. Other boutique energy sources will
certainly take up some of the slack, but how much of that is possible?
Thus economic growth will slow down or reverse and forced conservation
will occur. No matter how optimistic you are, it is difficult to see
where all of this energy is going to come from unless the oil economists
are correct in asserting that high prices will lead to new technolgies
that find more fields and also greatly increase recovery.

Al Koop
Received on Thu May 20 07:09:54 2004

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