Sunday, November 13, 2011

Have the Energy Starvationists and Carbon Hysterics Taken Over?

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its Energy Outlook 2011. What strikes Al Fin energy analysts the most deeply, is the defeatist tone of the document (executive summary PDF). Briefly put, the IEA assumes that demand for energy will continue to grow exponentially -- mainly from the emerging world -- and that the world will largely reject nuclear power as a result of the Fukushima earthquake & tsunami triggered tragedy. It further assumes that the continued use of carbon based fuels will have adverse effects on the climate, a certain sign of the absence of rational thought going into the document.
 World demand grows for all energy sources. The share of fossil fuels in global primary energy consumption falls slightly from 81% in 2010 to 75% in 2035. Natural gas is the only fossil fuel to increase its share in the global mix over the period to 2035. Absolute growth in natural gas demand is similar to that of oil and coal combined. Oil demand increases by 15% and is driven by transport demand. Coal demand, dictated largely by emerging economies, increases for around the next ten years but then stabilises, ending around 17% higher than 2010.

 In the power sector, nuclear generation grows by about 70%, led by China, Korea and India. Renewable energy technologies, led by hydropower and wind, account for half of the new capacity installed to meet growing demand. Overall, modern renewables grow faster than any other energy form in relative terms, but in absolute terms total supply is still not close to the level of any single fossil fuel in 2035.

 Large-scale investment in future energy supply is needed. In the New Policies Scenario, $38 trillion in global investment in energy-supply infrastructure is required from 2011 to 2035, an average of $1.5 trillion per year. Two-thirds of this is required in non-OECD countries. The power sector claims nearly $17 trillion of the total investment. Oil and gas combined require nearly $20 trillion, increasing to reflect higher costs and a need for more upstream investment in the medium and long term. Coal and biofuels account for the remaining investment. _IEA 2011 Outlook Factsheet PDF

One cannot judge the entire document from its executive summary, factsheet, and presentations to the media, of course. But the available material reeks of groupthink and the lack of imagination. No room is given to innovative science or engineering.

The abject surrender of the document makers to the IPCCs big money climate scam would disqualify the document from serious consideration all by itself. But such conformity is to be expected on the international front these days, with groupthink being highly rewarded -- and heretical rationality being roundly condemned and demonised.

Humans live in such large numbers on the planet for one reason only: A small fraction of humans throughout history have developed innovative and evolutionary / revolutionary technologies, in areas where most humans at the time would have least expected it.

It is fashionable to bet on human failure these days, and if one were restricted to mainstream thinkers, academics, journalists, politicians, media makers, labour unions, attorneys organisations, NGOs, intergovernmental organisations, and behind the scenes string pullers such as George Soros, such a bet would pay off rather well.

But if one wants to understand why human ingenuity has won out over the doomers throughout the period of time humans have existed, one might wish to look at this free online book.

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