free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 422. RENEWABLES STATUS REPORT FOR 2008

Thursday, September 10, 2009

422. RENEWABLES STATUS REPORT FOR 2008

REN21 has released its Renewables Global Status Report 2009. This table shows the scorecard, as of the end of 2008:
The wind build is amazing if you think of it in terms of EV fuel.

A typical EV efficiency value is 5 miles/kwH, while ICE cars run about 20 miles/gallon. That gives us an equivalency of about 1 kwh = .25 gallons of gasoline. The world is adding about 30 GWe of wind capacity per year, and wind has a capacity factor of about 30%. So the wind installed last year should produce roughly 87.6 Twh/year (roughly equal to the total annual electricity production of the Czech Republic). Converting that to gasoline, we get 1.4 million barrels /day. In a few years, the wind increment will double to the equivalent of 3 million barrels/day, so that windmills worldwide will be adding EV fuel equivalent to Canada's total oil production every year (or Saudi Arabia's oil production every 3 years). And windmills don't deplete!

EVs really can really be a game changer if you think about. Windmills are a very efficient and clean source of vehicle fuel, and they can definitely come on a lot faster than oil is depleting. No wonder the Saudi's are getting worried.

Here's a sampler of other interesting graphs from the report...
A phenomenal surge in wind in the last 10 years:


Solar PV growth:
Renewable power capacity:
China excels in yet another area:
Did someone say "The End of Growth"? LOL:
Here's a figure that will knock your socks off: The US alone invested $24 billion in wind in 2008.
by JD

51 Comments:

At Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 8:12:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Jon said...

Electricity storage for motive vehicles just isn't there yet. EV and hybrid vehicles are all predicated on the success of the lithium battery. But cost is a serious issue. The lithium battery in the upcoming GM Volt will cost >>$10,000 and that gets you a range of only 40 miles of range. Besides cost, lithium has a number of other problems:
1) Supply of lithium itself (it may work for 1 million cars but will it scale to 100 million? There are ~300 million cars in the U.S. alone.)
2) Recycling. There is no way to cost effectively recycle the lithium
3) Overheating. Remember that exploding laptop?
4) Longevity. How low will these expensive batteries really last in real-world driving conditions? If laptop batteries are any indication, the results are likely to be very disappointing.

 
At Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 9:50:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is your kind of blog, JD.
Regarding your link to the Saudi Prince. Yeah, we really didn't like your citizens slamming their airplanes into the World Trade Center and and Pentagon and we're still trying payback. JC Sr

 
At Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 10:07:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started reading about Peak Oil around 2004 during my senior year at Purdue University. Basically assured that in 5 years time civilization would be a smoking ruin due to a lack of fossil fuels I started making trips up to Chicago with a great deal of trepidation, overly stressing about how much my gas was costing.

As civilization has continued humming along these last 5 years I recently went up that stretch of I-65 and was pleasantly surprised to see windmills sticking up out of the corn fields on both sides of the highway.

Amazing what can happen in five years.

-Bob

 
At Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 10:11:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Benny "Boom, No Doom" Cole said...

The PHEV and the CNG or propane-powered vehicle are indeed ready responses to higher oil prices, if higher oil prices can be sustained.
Obviously, CNG vehicles are ready to roll now, and 10 million do so already, globally.
I agree, that a commercially viable PHEV would just about crush OPEC.
The "problem": PHEVs depress demand for oi so much we get another price collapse--making ICEs attractive.
This could go on for decades. Probably will, unless the Unoted States figures out it needs to tax gasoline consumption.

 
At Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 3:37:00 PM PDT, Blogger Nick G said...

JD,

The problem isn't peak energy. We have plenty of coal and natural gas, and we'll use them before we let the lights go out. So, you shouldn't even talk in terms of overall energy supply.

The main problem with coal and gas in the medium term is CO2 emissions - that's why wind & solar are needed.

As far as peak oil goes - that's a transportation problem, not a peak energy problem. You shouldn't slip into the frame of "PO vs renewables".

Jon,

Your battery info is out of date. Overheating and longevity are a problem with cobalt li-ion, not the newer chemistries like iron-phosphate. For lithium supply, see here: http://energyfaq.blogspot.com/2009/02/could-we-run-out-of-lithium-for-ev.html

 
At Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 3:39:00 PM PDT, Blogger Nick G said...

Benny,

You've got a point about PHEVs causing oil prices to fall. On the other hand, that's a silver lining to climate change - mitigating CC will also put momentum behind electrification of transportation.

 
At Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 6:20:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

Jon,
I would like to address your concerns.
Cost- Economies of scale and advances in technology will address any concerns about cost. No question about that. It's a fact.
1) Seriously, you are going there? http://www.ecogeek.org/automobiles/2918-lithium-supply-fears-are-total-bs
2) The only reason it's not cost effective is because lithium is so cheap and abundant.
http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/23215/?a=f
3) A bad batch of batteries in a few laptops doesn't mean anything or change anything. Did they stop using lithium batteries for laptops and cell phones after that? Of course not.
4) Once the cost comes down, and it will, even if you had to change out your battery pack every couple of years, it'll be no big deal. Imagine all the money you saved from gas and oil changes, etc.

DoctorJJ

 
At Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 6:35:00 PM PDT, Blogger OptimisticDoomer said...

Thanks for the link NickG and you are exactly right. Peak oil is absolutely not an energy problem, it is a liquid fuels problem.

 
At Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 11:18:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon, I doubt the pack in the Volt will be $10,000. Current Lithium cells are in the ~$350/kWh range for individual purchases,
http://www.evcomponents.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=34
and an OEM can get them for less than that, somewhere around $250/kWh, which places the Volt's pack in the neighborhood of $4000-$6000.

The range in the Volt is electronically limited in order to avoid any warranty issues with pack replacement. Essentially, GM's only letting the pack discharge to about half, so when capacity drops with age/cycling, as it does with all batteries, they can get more mileage out of it compared to going with a smaller pack and having the range drop below 40 miles within twenty+ thousand miles.

Going by specs for the batteries I linked, 5000 cycles before they hit 70% capacity would be at least .7(40 miles)5000 = ~140,000 miles until the pack capacity degrades to 70%, and probably ~200,000 miles before it degrades to 50% and drivers can't go a full 40 miles on all electric power w/ something like the Volt.

Essentially, a major manufacturer has to de-rate a hybrid battery pack because the warranty requirements for PHEVs are very stringent. Pure EVs don't have these requirements, so manufacturers can get away with using the whole pack.

Anonemouse

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 8:23:00 AM PDT, Blogger Yogi said...

Lithium supply does not appear to be a real concern:

http://lithiumabundance.blogspot.com/

“This current estimate totals 28.4 million tonnes Li equivalent to more than 150.0 million tonnes of lithium carbonate of which nearly 14.0 million tonnes lithium (about 74.0 million tonnes of carbonate) are at active or proposed operations.

This can be compared with current demand for lithium chemicals which approximates to 84,000 tonnes as lithium carbonate equivalents (16,000 tonnes Li).

Concerns regarding lithium availability for hybrid or electric vehicle batteries or other foreseeable applications are unfounded.”

If a Chevy Volt type PHEV 40 battery pack were to require 15kg of lithium carbonate, then 150 million metric tons (or 150 billion kg) would be enough for 10 billion PHEV 40s.

And, according to this source, lithium ion batteries can be recycled:

http://www.greenbatteries.com/libafa.html#Disposal

Cost remains an issue, but that could change if battery manufacturing techniques improve over the next few years, or if the price of oil rises to new record highs. My main concern is that a prolonged oil glut and a depressed world economy might make PHEVs economically unattractive for many years to come.

Getting back to the original topic of the post:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601124&sid=aOgR8sNCJ48o

“Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Barren, windy stretches of the Tibetan plateau and grasslands in northeastern China hold untapped value in a country searching for more energy and cleaner air.

China, the biggest polluter from burning fossil fuels, has enough wind-energy potential to generate seven times its current power consumption, said Michael McElroy, a researcher at Harvard University. To develop that capacity and meet rising demand would cost about $900 billion, he wrote in a study published yesterday in Science.”

The main limit to growth here is the ability of existing power grids to handle large amounts of electricity from intermittent renewable sources.

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 12:52:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Andytk said...

The only problem I have with this analysis, is that I already own a car that gets 45mpg (US) which is double you're analsis figure. And thats in real world driving conditions including high speed (70mph+) cruise.

Any my car isn't a hybrid.

So I feel if you're going to state the best possible case for electric vehicles (5 miles/kwh) then you should be obliged to use reasonable figures for state of the art IC vehicles. Not clunky old Ford Crown Vics.

Other than that, good analysis.

I will also add, that I live within almost pissing distance of the largest onshore wind farm in Europe and drive past it every day.

Cheers

Andy

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 2:11:00 PM PDT, Blogger Nick G said...

Anonemouse,

I looked at the Thunder-sky batteries ( http://www.evcomponents.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=34 ): they appear to be $440/KWH. For instance, one battery is 400 amp-hours and 2.5V (discharge), for 1 KWH: it's priced at $440.

That still supports your point, but I just want to make sure - am I reading the specs correctly?

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 2:21:00 PM PDT, Blogger Nick G said...

Anonemouse,

I hope you don't mind - I stole some of your language for my blog: http://energyfaq.blogspot.com/2009/09/volt-battery-costs-part-5.html

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 3:13:00 PM PDT, Blogger Nick G said...

Andy,

The best case for conventional vehicles isn't really needed. The question is: how hard would it be to replace conventional vehicles with something comparable.

In the US, the average vehicle gets about 20-22 MPG, and now costs about $.15/mile to fuel. It's fair to ask whether an EV or ErEV/PHEV can match that.

Of course, a hybrid that gets 50 MPG may be a perfectly good transition for quite a while.

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 3:14:00 PM PDT, Blogger Nick G said...

Andytk,

What's your vehicle

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 4:47:00 PM PDT, Blogger OptimisticDoomer said...

Andy, I take it you are in Europe. It is my understanding the average US car gets far fewer MPG than its EU counterpart. I believe the US average is 25 mpg at best.

Just googling on wiki and it looks like I'm right. The US still has a whole lot of fat to cut from its oil diet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_Average_Fuel_Economy

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 5:24:00 PM PDT, Anonymous crazy said...

"In the US, the average vehicle gets about 20-22 MPG, and now costs about $.15/mile to fuel. It's fair to ask whether an EV or ErEV/PHEV can match that."

the cost to run an PHEV-EV is much lower because of lower gasoline costs and lower maintenance. the PHEV-EV has less parts.

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 5:53:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

the best possible case for electric vehicles (5 miles/kwh)

4-5 miles/kwh is average for EVs. The higher end would be something like the Aptera, which runs at 10-12 miles/kwh.

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 7:05:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Basset Hound said...

So much for the Doomers and their "Renewables are only a tiny part of energy supply."

 
At Friday, September 11, 2009 at 8:27:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick G, check out the second page of the pdf spec sheet for the TS cells. Nominal voltage is around 3.2V. It starts at 4.25V, drops to ~3.4-3+V for most of the discharge, and 2.5V is the cut-off voltage for when the cell is completely discharged. $110/(3.2V*100ah) = ~$350/kWh

Anonemouse

 
At Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 2:07:00 PM PDT, Blogger Evan said...

Wind power usage by various countries; take notice of the massive increases in Canada, China and India between 2005 and 2008.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power#Wind_power_usage

 
At Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 11:06:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Zen said...

Abiotic Oil (Part 3)
Posted by jennifer, September 11th, 2009 - under News.
Tags: Energy & Nuclear

“RESEARCHERS at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm have been able to prove that the fossils of animals and plants are not necessary to generate raw oil and natural gas. This result is extremely radical as it means that it will be much easier to find these energy sources and that they may be located all over the world.”

That’s according to their own media release which continues:

“WITH the help of our research we even know where oil could be found in Sweden!” says Vladimir Kutcherov, Professor at the KTH Department of Energy Technology in Stockholm.

Together with two research colleagues, Professor Kutcherov has simulated the process of pressure and heat that occurs naturally in the inner strata of the earth’s crust. This process generates hydrocarbons, the primary elements of oil and natural gas.

According to Vladimir Kutcherov, these results are a clear indication that oil supplies are not drying up, which has long been feared by researchers and experts in the field.

He adds that there is no chance that fossil oils, with the help of gravity or other forces, would have been able to seep down to a depth of 10.5 kilometres in, for example the US state of Texas, which is rich in oil deposits. This is, according to Vladimir Kutcherov, in addition to his own research results, further evidence that this energy sources can occur other than via fossils – something which will cause a lively discussion among researchers for a considerable period of time.

“There is no doubt that our research has shown that raw oil and natural gas occur without the inclusion of fossils. All types of rock formations can act as hosts for oil deposits,” asserts Vladimir and adds that this applies to areas of land that have previously remained unexplored as possible sources of this type of energy.

This discovery has several positive aspects. Rate of success as concerns finding oil increases dramatically – from 20 till 70 percent. As drilling for oil and natural gas is an extremely expensive process, costs levels will be radically changed for the petroleum companies and eventually also for the end user.

“This means savings of many billions of kronor,” says Vladimir.

In order to identify where it is worth drilling for natural gas and oil, Professor Kutcherov has, via his research, developed a new method. The world is divided into a fine-meshed grid. This grid is the equivalent of cracks, known as migration channels, through strata underlying the earth’s crust. Good places to drill are where these cracks meet.

According to Professor Kutcherov, these research results are extremely important not least as 61 percent of the world’s energy consumption is currently based on raw oil and natural gas.

The next stage in this research is more experiments, especially to refine the method that makes it easier to locate drilling points for oil and natural gas.
The research results produced by Vladimir Kutcherov, Anton Kolesnikov and Alexander Goncharov were recently published in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience, Volume 2, August.

 
At Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 1:41:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Freddy Hutter, TrendLines said...

Let's keep wind & solar in perspective: by 2030 they will comprise less than 3% of total global energy...

 
At Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 10:10:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Babun said...

Let's keep wind & solar in perspective: by 2030 they will comprise less than 3% of total global energy...

According to party a (EIA perhaps?)

According to parties b, c and d they will comprise x, y and z per cent.

Please try to use such language that correctly depicts the situation.

 
At Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 11:11:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Andy said...

NickG,

My car is a Toyota Aygo. This is a small consortium car produced in the Czech republic (I think) between Toyota (engine), Peugeot (Interior/switchgear) and Citroen (chassis)

I don't know what the official milage figures are, but mine gets 52mpg (Imperial) which is about 45mpg US in the real world (with aircon on)

Its very cheap to own, insure, tax etc. Per mile its cheaper than taking the bus, plus the little 3 cylinder engine sounds ace when thrashed.

Cheers

Andy

 
At Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 11:32:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah jeez.
It was only a question of time until somebody reposted the abiotic oil crap.

DB

 
At Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 2:49:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Freddy Hutter, TrendLines said...

Great news, Babun. BP, IEA, EIA & OPEC agencies all say less than 3%. Please tell us who your "b, c & d" are and what they say...

 
At Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 5:22:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Freddy, the contribution of solar to total global energy massively outweighs the contribution of all fossil fuels put together, as frequently pointed out by Hermann Scheer. This can be easily demonstrated by a simple thought experiment: switch off the sun for a year. If you are correct -- that solar accounts for less than 1% of global energy -- then the lack of sun should have almost no effect on the global economy because solar energy plays such an infinitesimally small role in the global energy economy.

Another important point is the amount of incremental new energy that oil can provide by 2030. Liquids have been roughly on a plateau since 2005, while wind has been adding the equivalent of 1.4mbd of EV fuel every year. And that figure is likely to double to 3mbd/year in the next few years. That's far more incremental new energy than liquids are providing at this point. Which means that it makes sense to switch ever more vehicles to where the growing source of fuel is.

 
At Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 6:08:00 PM PDT, Blogger Yogi said...

Freddy, is that 3% projection based on a percentage of electricity production or a percentage of total primary energy production?

Thanks in advance!

 
At Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 11:57:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Freddy Hutter, TrendLines said...

3% of primary energy. Some agencies include biomass in total non-hydro renewables. Hydro, nuclear and fossil fuels make up the balance.

By current growth rates, wind & solar "may" attain 20% globally by 2050.

JD, i agree development of non-subsidized renewables is a beneficial. But, exaggerations of its medium term potential only serves to muddy the waters.

 
At Monday, September 14, 2009 at 3:09:00 AM PDT, Blogger Yogi said...

Thanks for the clarification Freddy.

3% of primary energy from wind and solar sounds like a reasonable “business as usual” projection, but that still be about 10%-15% of electricity from wind and solar, and if you include biomass and hydro the percentage of primary energy coming from renewables is already much higher than 3%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy

“In 2006, about 18% of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, such as wood-burning. Hydroelectricity was the next largest renewable source, providing 3% of global energy consumption and 15% of global electricity generation.[1]”

 
At Monday, September 14, 2009 at 7:16:00 AM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

DB,

I'm inclined to agree with you, simply because I doubt that abiotic theory offers us much in the way of insight, but it's sort of interesting to see someone pushing out what seems to be at least somewhat legit research on the subject. At the very least, it's something of a scientific curio.

 
At Monday, September 14, 2009 at 9:43:00 AM PDT, Blogger Nick G said...

Anonemouse,

Thanks.

Andy,

That's a pretty small car. Not the worst idea in the world, but I'd prefer a Prius or Volt.

Freddy,

You're getting sucked into the false dichotomy of oil vs renewables. The fact is (for better or worse), we have plenty of fossil fuels for electrical generation for the medium term. Renewables aren't needed to deal with peak oil, they're needed to deal with climate change.

And as far as that goes, it's just a social choice: do we overcome the objections from those who will lose jobs and investments, and replace FFs with renewables quickly, or do we allow climate change to proceed unimpeded??

 
At Monday, September 14, 2009 at 9:48:00 AM PDT, Blogger Nick G said...

Freddy,

Those projections of renewable capacity to 2050 are highly unrealistic. In fact, they're already badly out of date, and much lower than growth rates in the last several years.

Again, it's a social choice: the US and China could replace most of their coal electrical generation with wind in 20 years, quite easily: they just have to choose to do so.

See http://energyfaq.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-expensive-is-wind-power-needed-to.html and
http://energyfaq.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-expensive-is-wind-power-needed-to.html

 
At Monday, September 14, 2009 at 10:13:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Babun said...

Great news, Babun. BP, IEA, EIA & OPEC agencies all say less than 3%. Please tell us who your "b, c & d" are and what they say...

I assumed you were talking about electricity production and not primary energy, thus a strong reaction.

However, it's still wrong to say something like that without mentioning the source of that information, as if it were a fact.

Also, I'd be curious to actually see those sources. I know the EIA predicts something in that range (I checked), but I had a hard time finding any "second opinions".

My b, c and d were purely fictional, as you may have guessed - simply derived from the experience that energy predictions tend to differ a lot.

EIA also predicted renewables as a total to reach something in the order of 15% of primary energy by 2030 (in the reference case), which makes the case for renewables sound a whole lot better.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/stimulus/aeostim.html

 
At Monday, September 14, 2009 at 3:53:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Nick,

If/when we see carbon taxation on energy producers, I suspect we're going to see some pretty fast movement away from carbon-intensive energy production. That alone could change the projections quite a bit!

 
At Monday, September 14, 2009 at 4:43:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Also, I'd be curious to actually see those sources.

Yes, I'd like to see the sources too. Do you have some links Freddy?

There's one point that I'd like to verify. How are the percentages of production from fossil fuels, nuclear and renewables calculated? For example, is the value for oil calculated simply as the thermal value of total oil production? If that's the case, then inputs (oil) are being directly compared to outputs (renewables), and the contribution of fossil fuels is being considerably overstated.

Do you have any knowledge on that point Freddy?

 
At Monday, September 14, 2009 at 8:13:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

Nick G,
You said "And as far as that goes, it's just a social choice: do we overcome the objections from those who will lose jobs and investments, and replace FFs with renewables quickly, or do we allow climate change to proceed unimpeded??"

I suppose when you say allowing climate change to proceed unimpeded, you are referring to the global cooling that has occured over roughly the last 10 years? LMAO! Seriously, if there was really any proof to that, I'd be all for it. In fact, I'm all for renewables anyway, as long as we go about them in a smart way.

Considering renewables, I think JD brings up the best point in comparing FF's to renewables. Almost every calculation I've seen considers the overall energy in oil, yet with most of the oil we consume we probably get 25-30% out of it on average.

DoctorJJ

 
At Monday, September 14, 2009 at 9:37:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Frenchy said...

DocJJ:

The obvious response to that point is one I've heard from some AGW proponents, which is that the occurance of a cooling period in a long-term trend of overall warming doesn't negate that trend, any more than a hot day in July (or December for you non-antipodeans) negates the existence of winter.

Of course, for that you need to be convinced that a) we're in a time of unprecedented warming (which I'm not, considering that the hockeystick graph has been shown to have been produced with cooked figures) and b) that carbon emissions from human behaviour are the major cause of any warming (which I'm not).

 
At Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 11:39:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Freddy Hutter said...

EIA IEO was updated in May. Renewables incl hydro will be 11% in 2030. Hydro comprises about 70% of renewables. Thus wind, solar & biomass are 3.3% of total primary 2030 global consumption: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/index.html

Lotsa graphs & tables

All Liquids will be 32% (BTU). Gas, coal & nuclear make up balance.

 
At Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 10:35:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD I think your numbers are a little bit optimistic.

There's about 40KWH of energy in a gallon of gas. That gets the average US vehicle about 20 miles as you say. But given that an EV is about 4X as efficient that makes 10KWH to go the 20 miles.
So 1KWH gets you 2 miles. Any case we're still in good shape as your numbers show we're adding 0.75 million barrels a year just in wind.

But that's a quibble anyways.

The important thing to look at is this:
Even using the worst number that the doomer freakazoids are bandying about i.e. 6% net depletion rate.

Let's say that the worst case mitigation strategy will be simple demand destruction of personal transport and there will be no substitution and no demand destruction elsewhere.

So how would that work?
Well the price of gasoline (or diesel in Europe etc) would rise to the point at which the necessary number of vehicles in the global fleet would be taken out of usage until demand equalled supply again and prices stopped rising.

So how many vehicles are we talking about (assuming there's no substitution effects or no vehicles increasing fuel efficiency)?

The world fleet stands at 806 million vehicles as of 2008.
The US fleet stands at 241 million vehicles as of 2008.
The US fleet averages say 20mpg and that's the same as the world average let's say (some will be better some will be worse e.g. europe vs third world fleet).
If we lose 6% of the world fleet every year thats about 40 million ICE vehicles permanently off the road.
Given that the US fleet comprises approximately 1/4 of the global fleet it's fair to say that means we lose 10 millon vehicles.
10 million vehicles out of 241 million vehicles is hardly a disaster on the scale of 28 days later.

Now it's also reasonable to say that production capacity of EV vehicles will be, say, a million units a year by 2013 and say three million units a year by 2015 and maybe ten million units a year by 2020.

So if peak comes in 2015 and it's a six percent annual decline then the effect on the US fleet will be as follows: A loss of 30 million ICE vehicles from the fleet between 2015 and 2020.

How many will be added?
If we assume that the US gets a third of the world's new vehicles (roughly a 1/3 split between US, Europe and Japan/China) then the US adds about a million EVs between 2012 and 2015, then five million between 2015 and 2020.

So from that perspective we have a total gap of 24 million vehicles from the US fleet by 2020.

Can that be made up by other methods?

Sure it can. Taking the bus and carpooling alone will take up the slack. Also, given the likelihood that existing carmakers will still be making ICE vehicles, there will likely be some percentage of vehicles going from world average of 20mpg to, say, 40mpg, thus decreasing the number of vehicles that need to be removed by half.
In addition, there's likely to be some substitution of vehicles to natural gas which is not in short supply.

So between 2015 (assuming hard depletion sets in then) we are looking at 24 million vehicles removed from the US fleet by 2020 less any vehicles converted to natural gas and any vehicles swapped for higher mileage vehicles.

Afterwards between 2020 and 2050 there will be a declining gap between the number of ICE vehicles lost to the global fleet and the number of EV or alt fuels vehicles added.

Personally I think that's manageable without high speed zombie attacks from 28 days later.

Peak oil?

Hit the snooze button.

DB

 
At Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 11:15:00 AM PDT, Anonymous AndrewRyan said...

Mandate average 35 MPG for cars and small trucks in the USA by 2016.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124266939482331283.html

 
At Friday, September 18, 2009 at 6:14:00 PM PDT, Blogger OptimisticDoomer said...

You know DB, it doesn't even matter if we mitigate peak oil because there are 1000000000s of other things waiting to kill us LOL..or so the doomers say. But if you look at history, that's how it has always been. Just like this current great recession. If you look at the history of recessions on wiki, you could make the argument that the US has been in a constant recession since the 1800s with a few years of growth in between.

Just yesterday I was reading on theoildrum, what doomfest that place has become(!), that humanity has been doomed since the 14th century! LOL

 
At Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 7:19:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You know DB, it doesn't even matter if we mitigate peak oil because there are 1000000000s of other things waiting to kill us LOL..or so the doomers say."

One doomer told me that even if we had the production capacity to do it and even if the EOREI was high enough to support civilization we're still toast because of increasing entropy due to the second law of thermodynamics.

Yeah in about six billion years. I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

DB

 
At Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 4:55:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It gets better.
I looked into how many gallons of gasoline there are in a barrel of crude. Well in a 42 gallon barrel of crude there are (give or take) 16 gallons of gasoline and 6 gallons of diesel.
So we have somewhere around 50% of each barrel being used for something else.

So.... of the 20 million barrels per day we use, only around half are used for transport.

10 million barrels.

If we replaced all of it with electric transportation at an efficiency factor of 4X that means we need to find only 2 million barrels per day worth of electricity.

Using JD's number that means we need exactly a year and a half to replace all our fuel for personal transport in the US with electricity from wind.
Using my more pessimistic numbers we need FOUR years.

Jeeez the dooom....

DB

 
At Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 4:23:00 PM PDT, Anonymous SG said...

Great research and a great site!

An interesting note to add is that the latest EIA reports show total quads from renewables have exceeded total quads from nuclear in the US.

Please keep up the great work!

SG

 
At Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 4:45:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

SG,
What makes you say that? According to the EIA Electric Power Monthly, the year-to-date generation totals for 2009 are:

Nuclear: 398 TWh
Hydro: 146 TWh
Other renewable: 68TWh

So all renewables, including hydro, produce about 54% as much power as nuclear.

 
At Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 6:07:00 PM PDT, Blogger Yogi said...

The higher estimate for biomass may include firewood and other biomass burned for heating purposes, not just for electricity generation?

At least that’s the only explanation I can see for such a discrepancy.

 
At Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 6:15:00 PM PDT, Anonymous SG said...

Hi JD,

Sorry I didn't include the link in my earlier comment, but your link shows electricity generation only. Total quads (BTUs) when biomass is included exceeded nuclear in April (for the first time) and in May 2009.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/mer/pdf/pages/sec1_5.pdf

This may not seem like a fair comparison, but it highlights just how much renewable energy there is out there already. And also, that the trend is definitely up.

SG

 
At Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 9:01:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Very interesting SG. Thanks for the tip.

 
At Friday, December 25, 2009 at 11:26:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to see quantified produced energy from windmill and not power capacity, which is much, much higher. Moreover, the more you install the less will be the additional energy produced as the highest windy areas are the first to be exploted....

 

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