The oil runs dry

The civilization of today runs smoothly on oil. The fossil fuel oil is very hard to win and shall in time no longer be present in the Earth for thousands of years. The political and economic exploration is a question that should keep us busy in the coming decades.
The past 30 years new oil findings were enough for the increasing oil demand. The total world oil reserve did not increase or decrease. After 30 years the oil supply will decrease. With the absurdly high oil prices and the credit crisis there has come more economical attention for dealing with the fossil fuel reserve. That is reflected in more fuel-efficient and electric car models and less reserve withdrawals. As a result, there is less need for oil in the transport sector.

Until now, the oil reserve holds for 40 years. The years of world oil reserve was 40 years in 1986 and is so 20 years later. There is enough oil reserves for the next 40 years if the consumption does not increase. There are more and more people in the world, which takes more and more oil consumption on the world level. The oil consumption of the last 20 years was average at 30 billion barrel per year. We also see an increasing oil consumption in countries such as China and India. China now consumes 10% of world energy stocks, that will increase to 20% in 2020. It is wise to invest in other energy sources.


The oil reserve may serve us for more than 40 years, because now the production still covers the consumption. It is however the question if the reserves are measured correctly and whether the economic production is possible. We can calculate the reserve for natural gas and coal as well. For uranium, the raw material for nuclear power plants, the natural reserve may be estimated to 5469 Mton or 1655 billion of tonnes of oil equivalent. The annual consumption is 3.3 Mton or 0.6 billion of tonnes of oil equivalent.


Today the public service of energy supply  is left to the free market. The energy private market sector has a monopoly on the oil supply, production and delivery. Political choices may influence the price and the production. The price of energy has gone sky high. The future shortage of oil may need to bring the energy supply into the public domain. Energy supply is a public task. This is necessary to guarantee the energy need in the future. The idea to replace coal power plants for electricity generation with natural gas power plants is in contrast with a policy that gives continuity for natural gas.

The incineration of waste can produce heating for many cities. Windmills and solar cells on private and public properties may deliver the energy for every household. Electric cars may be charged with the energy from solar cells. Less dependency on fossil fuels automatically delivers a reduction of CO2 and NO2.

But renewable energy will not be enough for our civilization to run smoothly. In example the public transport of trains may need more energy.

Nuclear energy may  safeguard the energy supply for years. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster (26 April 1986) and the Fukoshima nuclear disaster (11 March 2011) learn that you must not build nuclear power plants together. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant consisted of 4 nuclear power plants and Fukoshima had 6 nuclear power plants. If there is an accident in one of the nuclear power plants, this makes the process of the other uncontrollable. A new nuclear power plant can be built only at the same site if  another old nuclear power plant stops.

Translate »