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Digged deeper and thought along

At this point statements, thoughts and comments concerning different topics of energy supply will be published in loose sequence.

2011.05.31

We should leave Oil before it leaves us

This idea has been coined by Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency IEA, an organization which is particular close to the application of conventional energy.

Is the invention of the steam machine set as a starting point for industrial use, a phase lasting of 250 years may be observed, which has most likely already passed its summit.

Independently of controversy discussed coverage of conventional and nuclear energy raw materials it is a matter of fact that stocks are finite. Horizons range from approx. 40 years for oil, natural gas and uranium, as well as approx. 150 years for coal.

In future coal will play an outstanding role: Actually coal refinement gives the sole perspective to provide in a post-oil era fuels, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. How much reserves will decrease under such extended usage scenarios cannot be retrieved from typical published static figures, which extrapolate today’s consumption. Finally there will be biomass. – For what reason not to start with new technologies now?

If numerous new projects for nuclear power plants will be included in this consideration, the question arises if during the period of operation all these plants will be provided with a sufficient supply of required nuclear fuels.

As mentioned in the last topic (“The New Benchmark: Energy Expenditure”), besides physical availability there are serious constraints. How short term appears a period of around 400 years in contrast to history of mankind!

On the other hand there is in human scales a nearly infinite reservoir of regenerative energy. Sun not only has been since 5 billion years the most important supply of energy, it will be so for another 5 billion years in future. Solar energy is not only the motor of winds, the drive for hydro power plants and key for herbal life – just the irradiation on earth during von hour exceeds worldwide energy demand for one year.

Already by today existing technologies a multiple of all energy demand can be supplied by solar, wind and hydro power. And in the long run there is no alternative.

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