Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Best Peak Oil Investments Series by Tom Konrad

Tom Konrad is posting a new series of investment advise on the Alternative Energy Stocks blog which has also appeared on Seeking Alpha. Here is a collection of his Best Peak Oil Investment articles so far:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Energy Export Databrowser

Access to fossil fuels is one of the most important issues of our time. The world's largest economies are extremely dependent upon imported supplies of oil and gas. Understanding who produces and consumes oil, coal and natural gas is critical today and will remain so in the years ahead.

The Energy Export Databrowser hosted by Mazama Science uses data from the 2009 BP Statistical Review and displays coal, oil & natural gas production and consumption timelines for each country in the database and several political and geographic groupings of nations. Users can dynamically plot import/export curves to get a sense of who the major fossil fuel producers and consumers are and how this has changed in the last four decades.

Interpreting Results

Various interesting patterns appear in the data graphics. A few interpretations are provided here.

Peak ProductionUninterrupted by war or political upheaval and developed with the latest technology, the North Sea provides a very good example of a 'normal' (almost gaussian) production curve that is now past 'peak' production. It is anticipated that annual production volumes will continue to decline barring a dramatic new discovery.

Export Land ModelThe 'Export Land Model' proposed by Jeffrey Brown and Samuel Foucher describes how developing nations, enriched by oil profits, will grow economically and increase their own consumption of energy resources. Declining production and increasing consumption can rapidly turn an exporting nation into one that requires imports as exemplified by ex-OPEC member Indonesia.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Outlook for Energy in Eastern Europe and the FSU

Lights Out? The Outlook for Energy in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union

This new report has been recently published by the World Bank. Download the pdf version to read the full Lights Out? The Outlook for Energy in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union paper. A short excerpt:


Before the current economic crisis hit the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region in 2008, energy security was a major source of concern in Central and Eastern Europe and in many of the economies in the former Soviet Union. Energy importers were experiencing shortages
leading to periodic brownouts and blackouts. An energy crisis seemed imminent.

  • Emerging Europe and Central Asia, the region made up of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), is a major energy supplier to both Eastern and Western Europe. However, the outlook for both primary and derivative energy supplies is questionable, with a real prospect of a significant decline during the next two decades.
  • Western Europe is heavily dependent on energy imports from this region. It will therefore be affected by declines in primary energy supplies. But Western Europe has the financial capacity to secure the energy supplies it needs (albeit at the expense of others). In contrast, the region’s energy-importing countries are caught between Western Europe, which has increasing import needs, and the region’s exporters, whose exports will likely decline. These countries face the prospect of being squeezed both financially and in terms of energy access.
  • This difficult prospect is compounded by the deterioration of the region’s energy infrastructure, including power generation and district heating. Although the public sector will have to finance a portion of these investments, it will not have the capacity to meet the full investment needs. It is therefore essential that countries in the region move quickly to put in place an enabling environment to support investment in the sector.
  • Overlaying all of this are environmental concerns, in particular concern about climate change. Member states of the European Union (EU) and those with EU ambitions will need to meet the challenging EU greenhouse gas emissions targets. At the same time, a number of countries in the region will face the temptation to use environmentally unfriendly technology to meet their immediate energy needs.
  • Policy responses need to emphasize demand-side management and the use of energy efficiency measures. The Russian Federation, as the region’s major energy exporter, needs to direct additional resources to energy production over the longer term if export levels are to be maintained. Incentives need to be devised and implemented to encourage countries to avoid environmentally unfriendly solutions.
[via The Oil Drum's daily Drumbeat news]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day 2010

Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970 and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. Earth Day is celebrated in spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Many communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues. While the first Earth Day was focused entirely on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes—the original national coordinator in 1970—took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.

Earth Day 2010

Earth Day 2010 will coincide with the World People's Conference on Climate Change, to be held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and with the International Year of Biodiversity.

The World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, better known by its Spanish acroynm CMPCC, is a conference organized by the Bolivian government to be held in Cochabamba, Bolivia April 19-22, 2010. Its objectives are the following:
  1. Analyze the structural and systemic causes of climate change and propose substantive measures that facilitate the well-being of all mankind in harmony with nature.
  2. Discuss and agree the draft Universal Declaration of rights of Mother Earth.
  3. To agree on proposals for new commitments to the Kyoto Protocol and projects for a COP Decision under the United Nations Framework for Climate Change that will guide future actions in those countries that are engaged with life during climate change negotiation
  4. Work on the organization of a people’s world referendum on climate change.
  5. Analyze and draw up a plan of action to advance the establishment of a Climate Justice Tribunal;
  6. Define strategies for action and mobilization in defense of life against climate change and for mother earth rights.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Building a Green New House

In a short, funny, data-packed talk at TED U, Catherine Mohr walks through all the geeky decisions she made when building a green new house -- looking at real energy numbers, not hype. What choices matter most? Not the ones you think.

Catherine and Paul Mohr live in Silicon Valley with their daughter Natalie and cats Loki and Tia. In addition to building a green house, they both work on designing and building surgical robots at Intuitive Surgical.

Their 301 Monroe blog has entries about our house building process including:
  • Energy” for posts that are particularly concerned with energy calculations and energy savings
  • Sustainability” spans many subjects and includes many of the energy and water and strawbale posts, but also includes posts about sustainability of other materials
The Embodied energy calculations discussed in Catherine’s TED talk can be found on the Embodied Energy Blog post.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Green New Deal for Europe

The Green European Foundation (GEF) is the political foundation of the aisbl Green European Institute. It is one of the newly created political foundations on European level, and is funded on an annual basis by the European Parliament. GEF is publishing the Green New Deal series.
In the face of the current multiple crisis (financial, economic, social, environmental), the need for sustainable policies is self-evident. The Green New Deal is the integrated policy approach that Greens in Europe are putting forward as a solution to the crisis. The Towards Green Modernization in the face of Crisis report by the Wuppertal Institute analyzes in depth the climate, environment and energy aspects of this proposal.

Over the past year, billions of Euros have been spent in Europe, the US and other industrialised countries on so-called ‘recovery packages’ to overcome the economic crisis. However, these unprecedented amounts of public money could also be focused on fostering an ecological transformation of our economies, and not on safeguarding the economic patterns that brought about the crisis in the first place. Needless to say, this is no easy task. The present report by the Wuppertal Institute is meant to take stock of the current situation and identify the most suitable areas, the most effective instruments and the best practices for promoting this transformation.

Greening recovery packages

The report gives an overview of the “recovery packages” introduced by governments around the globe and reveals that the European Union is lagging behind the United States and Asia in terms of the Green share of those recovery plans. The authors show the economic and employment potential of a Green New Deal and that the EU has the possibility of leading the way.The report takes a pragmatic approach in the sense that it focuses primarily on how to ‘green’ immediate recovery activities in specific economic areas, and how to support the creation of framework conditions which initiate a dynamic for ecological modernisation and structural change. It also identifies key elements for the implementation of a Green New Deal.

Policy recommendations

The report ends with a series of recommendations that urge the European Union and its Member States to focus their programmes on investments that will kick-start a Green economy and provide sustainable ways out of the crisis.

Green New Deal series
The next volume of the series has also been published: Green New Deal and a European Response to the Crisis: towards ambitious macroeconomic governance of the EU

In this second volume, Francisco Padilla argues in favor of the idea of transforming the Stability and Growth Pact into a Sustainable Stability and Growth Pact.

In this recent article published by the Green European Foundation, the author argues that apart from the reforms of financial regulation that have already been announced, the European Union has to respond to the global crisis by pursuing a double objective. On the one hand, it should focus on economic reorganization, centered around eco-efficency and low carbon economy as engines of job creation. On the other hand, attention must be paid to the fight against unsustainable (public and private) debt and to the alarming increase in poverty rates, fostered in turn by wage deflation. The article maintains that only by focusing on these two conditions at the same time the European Union will be able to tackle the structural causes of systemic economic instability, exacerbated by the past 30 years of financial liberalisation.

This latter publication is so far only available in French on the GEF web page.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Energy Intensity of Countries Visualized

Gapminder World shows the world’s most important trends. The following Visualization from Gapminder World shows the energy intensity of different countries around the world, powered by Trendalyzer from Check out the live web chart here.

Gapminder is a non-profit venture – a modern “museum” on the Internet – promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

35.5 MPG by 2016 - New US Milage Standards

U.S. Issues Limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Cars

[via The New York Times]

The federal government took its first formal step to regulate global warming pollution on Thursday by issuing final rules for greenhouse gas emissions for automobiles and light trucks.

The move ends a 30-year battle between regulators and automakers but sets the stage for what may be a bigger fight over climate-altering emissions from stationary sources like power plants, steel mills and refineries.

The new tailpipe rules, jointly written by the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, set emissions and mileage standards that would translate to a combined fuel economy average for new vehicles of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. Most drivers will see lower mileage figures in actual driving.

The rules are expected to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases about 30 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Officials said the program would save the owner of an average 2016 car about $3,000 in fuel over the life of the vehicle and eliminate emissions of nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gases over the lives of all regulated vehicles.

Reaching the new efficiency figure will add about $1,000 to the cost of the average new car by 2016, according to industry and government estimates.

The tailpipe rule reflects a truce between the auto industry and state and federal governments, which have been feuding over emissions and mileage standards since the 1970s. It is the first time the federal Clean Air Act has been applied to carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Online World Simulation

This online Simgua World simulation predicts the macro-level development and change of the entire world. There are six main sectors in it: a food system, a population system, a pollution system, a nonrenewable resource system, and an industrial system.

You may experiment with several variables of the model including the initial level of nonrenewable resources, the start year for the implementation of a high-tech improvement policy, and the delay between technology development and its implementation.

You may download the model to control many more variables. This world simulation is based on the World3 model developed by the Club of Rome. This model was used in the original Limits to Growth publication in 1972.

Simgua is a next-generation, no-nonsense modeling application that helps you develop powerful models and simulations.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Our Future and the End of the Oil Age: Building Resilience in a Resource-Constrained World

A new presentation from ClubOrlov by Dmitry Orlov:

In conclusion
  • Many people can't be persuaded by either fact or reason. Let's hope you are not one of them.
  • Running out the clock on our current living arrangement is a bad idea: the longer you wait, the fewer options you will be left with
  • A rather exciting time to be alive, wouldn't you say?