A DECC report summarising the main outputs of an internal project undertaken in 2007 by then BERR officials on the issues surrounding peak oil.

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Watching Barack Obama walk off Airforce One this morning in Dublin airport into a very blustery day, it inspired me to take a look at the Eirgrid website to see what kind of power our wind turbine fleet is generating.

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Unemployment, Commodities, and Capital Flows

The latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook (WEO) published last month (April 2011) makes for very interesting reading, Chapter 3 specifically: “Oil Scarcity, Growth, and Global Imbalances”.

Considering the findings of the report, it’s remarkable the relatively little press the report has received, and I can find none in the Irish media. All the more remarkable considering their role in our bail-out.

Chapter 3 considers four future oil production scenarios, one of which being a ‘Peak Oil’ scenario (Scenario 2):

  • Benchmark scenario
  • world oil production increases by only 0.8% versus business as usual (BAU) 1.8%
  • Scenario 1: Greater substitution away from oil
    • assumes a more optimistic long-term elasticity of 0.3, almost five times as high as that used in the benchmark scenario
  • Scenario 2: greater declines in oil production
    • -2% per annum (-3.8% vs. BAU)
    • 4% real increase in extraction costs per year (vs 2% in benchmark scenario)
  • Scenario 3: greater economic role for oil
    • the contribution of oil to output (either directly or as an enabler of technology) amounts to 25 percent in the tradables sector and 20 percent in the nontradables sector (rather than 5 percent and 2 percent).

    Oil production assumptions in the IMF model

    The chart above demonstrates the oil production scenarios used in the model. Continue Reading »

    ASPO Ireland Director, Richard O’Rourke, remarked during his introduction of Vinay Gupta’s Collapsonomics talk in Dublin last September, that he hoped the government is secretly working on an energy security plan to deal with a crisis situation, should one arise.

    The speech below was given by Energy Minister, Eamon Ryan, at the IIEA yesterday, to mark the signature by Ireland on 3 December, 2010 of a Memorandum of Understanding with nine other European countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden France, Germany, the Benelux countries and the UK) on the North Seas Grid initiative. In his speech the Minister recalls a similar question posed by a Russian diplomat at a Council of Minister’s meeting last year. The speech is a reflection on 3.5 years as Minister and the triumphs, trials and tribulations of the role. Continue Reading »

    ASPO Ireland is going through a period of transition, much as the world is, as we move into a post-peak oil world.

    ASPO’s origins has been in the technical expertise of largely former oil industry executives, who’s work developing oil production forecast models is and will always continue to be a cornerstone of ASPO’s work. However, we now formally acknowledge (although it’s always been evident from the eclectic followers of Peak Oil) the need to broaden the scope of expertise within ASPO Ireland to include the softer sciences: social, economic, and political.

    To that end we are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. John Barry of Queens University Belfast and Dr. Colin Sage of University College Cork. Their respective expertise in politics and human geography will add enormously to the work still to be done by ASPO Ireland. Continue Reading »

    Last Saturday (27th November) I organised a workshop, the first public outing of a new think tank I’ve helped start – the Centre for Progressive Economics. The title of the workshop was ‘The Global Economic Crisis: Analyses and Responses’ and on a very cold morning around 30 people braved the elements to listen to three presentations and discuss ways in which the progressive left in general and the Trades Union movement in Northern Ireland in particular could beef up its analysis through engaging with university reseachers and becoming informed of the growing and existing evidence base for alternative economic analyses and policy prescriptions to the dominant ‘neo-liberal’ one.   I’ve written a summary here.

    Yet another report (do we need more?) on the severe implications of peak oil and failure to address it by the Global Climate Change, Human Security & Democracy (GCCHSD) research group at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

    The report is a synthesis of the current state of knowledge on energy resources and global climate and environmental change. The findings clearly indicate that the convergence of peak energy resources and dangerous anthropogenic climate and environmental change will likely have a disastrous impact in the near- and long-term on the quantity and quality of human life on the planet (see synopsis below). Topics include: peak oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, and phosphorus; climate change; environmental degradation; population; food and agriculture; water resources; and the limits of biofuels (including algae-based biofuels). Continue Reading »