Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Energy Reserves

"We need to consider both the estimated total reserves (i.e. quantities of fossil energy with 90% confidence that such supplies exist), from both conventional and unconventional sources, and the estimated resource base of the various fossil fuels: oil, gas, and coal. From simple arithmetic of dividing the total reserve and/or resource base by the current burn rate of each type of fossil energy, it can be seen that we have between 40 and 80 years worth of oil reserves globally at our current burn rate of oil, and we have between 50-150 years of oil if the resource base is included. We have between 200-500 years of reserves of natural gas, and between 207-590 years of gas reserves, not including the natural gas potentially available as methane clathrates in the continental shelves. Similarly, we have between 200-2000 years of coal."

From here: http://nsl.caltech.edu/energy.html

2 comments:

Aruna said...

Take today's global rate of use, take emerging economies, take more cars on the road. In 1990, there were only 1 million cars in China; by 2025, the number of cars sold should surpass US figures, where the ratio is 940 cars per 1000 people. Take the fact that SUV sales have almost doubled in India, that energy efficiency is in conflict with our short-term developmental goals. Take carbon-credit philanthrophy, and the loopholes in protocol that are so easy to wriggle out of, even for states that sign up for responsibility. And then you have the politics of distribution, situations that you cannot predict or extrapolate on a bar graph-Iran, Venezuela, Russia.

We're going to run out; that's clear enough. But I think it's going to be sooner than we imagine.

Veena said...

Inevitability is besides the point - (a) delaying it, and (b) alternatives should be the focus. Speculation can be pointless, enterprise isn't.
My bet's on the BG-FT synthesis.