The International Energy Agency (IEA) would like to remind everyone – everyone who doesn't think about this regularly and pretty much already knows this, anyway – that "we cannot continue to rely on insecure and environmentally unsustainable uses of energy." Guess what those unsustainable energy uses are? Yup.

This recommendation is found in the group's latest World Energy Outlook (WEO), which says – among other things – that, "rising transport demand & upstream costs reconfirm the end of cheap oil." The main driver of the higher energy costs between now and 2035 are big energy demand growth in non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) economies. The WEO assumes that governments only offer tame efforts to stem demand and encourage renewables and that, "China consolidates its position as the world's largest energy consumer: it consumes nearly 70% more energy than the United States by 2035, even though, by then, per capita demand in China is still less than half the level in the United States." The expected price of a barrel of oil in 2035 is $120. Of course, if Middle East and North Africa regional investments run, "one-third lower than the $100 billion per year required, consumers could face a near-term rise in the oil price to $150/barrel." There's more bad news for people who want to rely on gasoline and other fossil fuels, and you can check them out here. If you dare.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      "even though, by then, per capita demand in China is still less than half the level in the United States." In terms of electricity (2007), China consumed 2,584.876 kWh per capita, while we consumed 12,747.485 kWh per capita and Germany consumed 6,641.91 kWh per capita. In the US (2007), we consumed 68.672 bbl/day per 1,000 people, Germany consumed 29.791 bbl/day per 1,000 people and China 5.733 bbl/day per 1,000 people. So basically China is positioned to have the energy consumptions habits of Germany today, whereas we consume twice as much energy as Germany per person. I think a lot of the animosity toward China is misplaced, when all they are trying to do is reach the consumption habits of an efficient developed country with a healthy manufacturing industry. Despite having a fraction of the energy consumption per person, Germany and China seem to be putting more emphasis on improving efficiency and renewable energy than we do here. I think the US has a long way to go to become more efficient and should be setting an example for efficiency improvements and renewable energy, rather than being an example of wasteful consumption. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con_percap-energy-oil-consumption-per-capita http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_ele_con_percap-energy-electricity-consumption-per-capita
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lne937s
        The truth that dare not be spoken is that we will be using lower levels of oil in the future. We literally will not be able afford to keep burning oil at the levels that we do now. But that is something our leaders cannot say . . . who is going to vote for the person that tells you that you will receive less in the future? Oil is a zero sum game now . . . the more used elsewhere means the less that will be consumed in the USA. But people are going to learn the lesson the hard way.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      The IEA has consistently been too optimistic on production and on price in every forecast they have made, and have had to adjust them regularly. In 2004 they predicted oil production in 2030 at 121 mbd In 2006 that dropped to 116 mbd In 2009 it was down to 105 mbd. This forecast is still way too optimistic, and relies on sharp and unexplained changes to previous trends, not a way to make reputable forecasts.
      brotherkenny4
      • 3 Years Ago
      There will continually be new oil found, or new techniques developed for discovery and recovery of oil. It may never truely run out since much of it is very diffusely distributed and thus not economical to recover. However, as the price of crude goes up, a greater proportion of the oil remaining becomes "economically recoverable", since the sale price is higher. The oil companies may say that there is plenty of oil, and there probably is. If they can get a higher price for it they can turn a profit on oil that is more costly to produce, where in the past this oil would have been considered unrecoverable. There is an upper limit on the price they can charge however, because alternatives start to become good competitive sources above a certain price for crude. I think if we were interested in what is best for the future we would be moving forward with replacement energy carriers much vigorously than we do now, because it's inevitable that the price of oil will increase and supply will be limited. Of course, if price is not an issue for you then you will have plenty of oil. Indeed, at the right price you could burn whale oil in your ICE.
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      In comparison with China in terms of what is being done to replace fossil fuels, look at these two graphs: http://energy.gov/articles/stark-choice-solar http://energy.gov/articles/competition-worth-winning
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lne937s
        @Ine937s The two articles you cite, are pretty weak authorities! Both articles rely on information from a trade publication called PV News, a somewhat breathless young Solar cheer squad editorial panel,(who don't know the difference between the PRC and ROC) with very dubious factual analysis methodology, and Navigant Consulting (formerly Metzler Group) who were the principals in the Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital financial scandal. In fact the PRC, despite its propaganda has little interest in domestic Solar energy, but will assist and export oriented manufacturer. The PRC government and agencies have recently diverted funds from most alternate energy R&D budgets to finance the massive expansion by the PLA into bio-fuels.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Obama is all over this. he is in the white house every day giving long speeches about this to his people.. aaaany day now
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Of course Obama won't talk about it. No politician that has to deal with re-election will. It is a fundamental rule of politics that you do not talk about bad news unless you have a solid plan on fixing the issue. But there is absolutely no easy fix for the oil issue. That said, the Obama administration has done a lot of things in attempts to address the issue. So much that one of the things (the loan program for alt energy) has become a scandal for him since they were aggressively funding new alt-energy programs. Given the political realities in the USA, one can't realistically expect for much more than they have done.
          StevenG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          He would have to come out and admit that peak oil is real, and its here (or almost here) and we're in big trouble, and we're going to have to drastically reduce our energy use, which would send the stock market into a tail slide. And politics in America is tied to 2 things: Dow Jones and unemployment rate.
      Larz Larzen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Every finite supply of anything that you use is going to get scarcer. Just scare tactics. We have hundreds of years of supply of fossil fuels; clean coal, oil, gas. I see these fuels as just a bridge that we can use to get to BEVs and FEVs. Heck, we haven't even touched methane clathrates yet.
        StevenG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Larz Larzen
        There is no such thing as "clean coal". That's a reference to CO2 sequestration, WHICH DOESN'T EXIST. Clearly you have no idea what you're talking about. Yeah, lets burn methane, that can't possibly have any downsides...
          StevenG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @StevenG
          I would be best to leave it frozen at the bottom of the ocean and use wind/nuclear/solar/geothermal. Its just another finite resource. Comparing a finite resource to another finite resource is pointless.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @StevenG
          No one has figured out an economically viable way of collecting and using methane hydrates. If they were very useful, we'd be using them now wouldn't we? But what is the point anyway . . . they are natural gas . . . we already have cheap natural right now, what we are short on is oil. Methane hydrates are just another one of those things like oil shale that charlatans like to throw out there and confuse people with.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @StevenG
          Methane is actually a better fuel than coal in every way. And to top it off, oil companies regularly burn the stuff off rather than capture it and sell it. That's what those occasional fire flares coming off oil rigs are. The reason is that it is actually better for the environment to burn the stuff than to let it out into the atmosphere. Methane / natural gas has a GWP ( global warming potential ) about 8x that of CO2. And actually the reason it has not been used much as a fuel source is probably because of leaks ( it must be stored at very high pressure as it's a low energy density fuel. )
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Larz Larzen
        You have clue as to what you are talking about and provide no data to back it up. There are 'hundreds of years of supply' though . . . just at prices that normal people cannot afford, so it might as well be on mars. The world has been on an oil plateau for 6 YEARS IN A ROW now.
      krona2k
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is this the first year that they ever took this tone with their report? Maybe it's finally sinking in, when the oil companies themselves state there's no more 'cheap' oil (that is no more *increase* in production) then we should all probably believe them.
      StevenG
      • 3 Years Ago
      They predict $120 in 24 years, and its $100 today with a slumping US economy? What a joke
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      " The expected price of a barrel of oil in 2035 is $120." LOL. It will probably hit that price in less than a year, not 24 years from now! What a complete joke.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Yeah no kidding; wasn't oil up to $100-110/barrel in 2008? *looks back in shame as i had not discovered electric bikes, was not car pooling and was paying about $5/gallon in California back then*
      harlanx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      Talk about another mindless statement, of course if we use so called fossil fuels, then we have less left. We still have huge undeveloped sources. You can't believe any of these organizations anymore. There are too much politics in the way of the truth. Market forces take care of these things as long as governments don't get in the way.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Yeah, you shouldn't believe them . . . but for the reason DaveMart pointed out . . . they have been way to over-optimistic in their forecasts for YEARS. The IEA was formed as a sort of anti-OPEC, so part of their propaganda effort has been to preach that there is no oil shortage so that OPEC cannot put the squeeze on the rest of us. But reality has gotten in the way of that propaganda message in the past few years.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        "As long as governments don't get in the way"? LOL! You are so naive. The foreign governments own most of the oil! You don't have any choice but to deal with them! The only real alternative is to work on alternative energy sources. I know, I know . . . you'll cry "Drill, baby, drill" . . . but that won't really work when you only hold 2% of the world's oil reserves. Some people never learn.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          It's always funny when i hear someone talking about how much oil we could be getting out of ANWR. You know for sure they've been listening to some partisan rhetoric. All studies, including those from oil companies, indicate that ANWR could supply a whopping 1%-2% of our energy needs at the current use pattern. All the low hanging fruit in this continent has been drilled and burned up already.
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