Re: National Geographic Peak Oil

From: wallyshoes <>
Date: Fri May 21 2004 - 22:11:07 EDT

Al Koop wrote:

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

I really do not understand some the numbers that are tossed around here.
According to the US DOE:

 The electricity in the United States is generated as follows:

Coal 43%
Gas 19%
Nuclear 15%
Renewable 12%
Petroleum 8%
Pumped Hydroelectric 3%

As can be seen, petroleum is only half of what nuclear generates. If nuclear
plants number 100, then it would take 50 of them total to replace the
existing petroleum plants. That is one per 2%, not one per week.

The problem is one of cars, not electrical power. In fact, nuclear plants
could also become that “hydrogen mine” that we need for automotive power.

Chicken little is not dead yet.


Walt Hicks <>
In any consistent theory, there must
exist true but not provable statements.
(Godel's Theorem)
You can only find the truth with logic
If you have already found the truth
without it. (G.K. Chesterton)
Received on Fri May 21 22:11:37 2004

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