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Solving Peak Oil

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posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 10:10 PM
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Time to brainstorm and get out of this fossil fuel conundrum, so I started this thread in hopes of sparking some grey matter in hopes of finding feasible solutions.

Current world energy production by source is: Oil 40%, natural gas 22.5%, coal 23.3%, hydroelectric 7.0%, nuclear 6.5%, biomass and other 0.7%

The premise here is that cheap oil is no longer an option and for a free market economy to keep growing, it needs to find other viable cheap energy resources. note: Hydrogen is a storage solution not an energy resource.

It is believed that if we wait for the free market to work itself out, in about 20 or 30 years it will be too damn late. The plateau when global oil production actually peaks (if it hasn't already) will be extremely volatile, complete with economic, climate and political disasters.


Some information links:

The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (APSO)
www.peakoil.net...

Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC)
www.odac-info.org...

Energy Bulletin
www.energybulletin.net...

Post Carbon Institute
www.postcarbon.org...


As for my feasible solution:

The world starts building advanced nuclear reactors supplemented by an alternate energy sales tax (i.e. pebble bed reactor, Integral Fast Reactor, CANDU) and funds more research and development towards fusion power. This starts NOW, streamline it and get it going Manhattan Project style.

As for the theoretical fusion reactor, it cannot melt down as per fission nuke plants and its waste matter half-life is but tens of years. In the works: ITER is an international magnetic confinement fusion experiment, which will be designed to show the scientific and technological feasibility of a full-scale fusion power reactor.

In contrast, a coal plant of equivalent size will generate about 7,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 5,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, 1,400 tons of particulates, 1,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, and up to 1,000,000 tons of ashes. Fossil fuel pollution contributes to millions deaths a year. See: When Smoke Ran Like Water

Don't like my nuclear hi-tech option as the main new energy resource, then tell me your solution. Keep in mind that arable land, climate change, and population growth are major factors involved with peak oil solutions.




posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 02:02 AM
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Europe is already building it's first fusion reactor, it will be located in France.
news.bbc.co.uk...



posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 02:09 AM
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Originally posted by SwearBear
Europe is already building it's first fusion reactor, it will be located in France.
news.bbc.co.uk...


Uhh, did you read my article at all?

Look up, it says:
In the works: ITER is an international magnetic confinement fusion experiment, which will be designed to show the scientific and technological feasibility of a full-scale fusion power reactor.

I also linked theoretical fusion reactor, click the link above and it says:
In June 2005, it was announced that the first experimental reactor supposed to do this, ITER, will be built in Cadarache in Southern France.

What is your solution is the purpose of the thread, and it is?






[edit on 18-9-2005 by Regenmacher]



posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 02:20 AM
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My solution? Its really simple:

Untill fusion becomes a reality, we need to build more nuclear reactors (fission) for electricty generation.

Money should be devoted towards other cheap sources like tidal energy and wind. My opinion is that right now photovolitics are not cost effective right now.

Take the burden off of our existing fossil fuel supplies that we now devote to electricity. That will help but not solve the overall problems. Buts its a good near term solution.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 07:28 PM
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Entering the Nuclear Renaissance
Global War, Powerdown or Go Nuclear

The US is on the path of war, since the US is the world's largest energy user, it has the capacity to ensure the destruction of humanity or lead the way toward human existence. We are lagging in nuclear power generation and have become too dependent on fossil fuel resources.





Alernative solutions are in the works but will it be too late?

US, South Korea to Partner on Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative

The US and South Korea will work together to develop a next-generation nuclear reactor that will also produce large quantities of hydrogen according to officials from the S. Korean Ministry of Science and Economy.

The announcement comes less than a week after the South Korea government signed off on an ambitious plan for the country to become a functioning hydrogen economy by 2040, with more than half of all cars to operate on fuel cells by the target date.

Companies Plan Nuclear Power Plants
Twenty-seven years have passed since a business ordered a new nuclear power plant in the United States, but two energy companies Thursday announced a joint venture to seek a license for a new nuclear plant by spring 2008.

Constellation Energy, a Baltimore-based electric company, and Areva, a French-owned nuclear reactor manufacturer, are forming UniStar Nuclear with the goal of launching a new era of nuclear power plants in the United States.

Bechtel Power Corp. would build the new plants.

"Over the past decade, America's energy consumption has grown about 40 times faster than our production," said Michael Wallace, executive vice president of Constellation Energy.

Russia to Build World’s First Floating Nuclear Power Station for $200,000
It will have the capacity to supply energy to a town with a population of 200,000. If the entire capacity of the plant is switched over to desalinization of sea water, it will be able to produce 240,000 cubic meters of fresh water a day.



Historically if the oil crisis of the 1970s had not occurred, the use of global oil might have conformed more closely to the classic Hubbert bell curve. If we had no enegry crisis the peak of the curve for oil extraction would have come and gone in the 1990s.

Hubbert’s model: uses, meanings, and limits-2
The mathematical model of M.K. Hubbert successfully predicted the peak of oil production in the US even though the logistic growth curve on which it is based cannot account for the physical, political, and economic factors that govern actual production.

End of Oil Could Fuel 'End of Civilization as We Know It'
"What matters in the short term is, when do we panic?" Nur said. "In my opinion, the point of panic has already taken place." If the world is sliding toward global conflict over oil, the skids may be pretty well greased, politically speaking.

Governments do not have the political will to prepare for the end of oil, says Goodstein, the Caltech physicist.

"Civilization as we know it will come to an end sometime this century, when the fuel runs out," Goodstein said, adding that "I certainly hope my prediction is wrong."

Do we go nuclear, go to war or fall on our swords?

Any non-nuclear pundits have a better solution?




[edit on 19-9-2005 by Regenmacher]



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 08:29 PM
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www.rand.org...

We do not have an oil shortage. In fact, the United States has enough oil to supply fuel needs for 400 years! What we do have, however is a shortage of cheap oil! The Rand Corp released a study on September 2, that showed that the US oil reserves were three times greater than that of Saudi Arabia. The difference is that Saudi Arabia's oil is relatively easy to access. The U.S. oil reserves, however, are locked in shale. If the price of oil is over 70 dollars a barrel, then the oil from shale begins to be economically feasible.

So, again, we do not have an oil shortage....we have a cheap oil shortage.

Besides, we can produce all the energy needs of the planet by using bio fuels produced from corn, soy and most notably hemp.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 08:50 PM
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Nice post Regenmacher


Sorry to burst your bubble though...

Peak Uranium

And from The End of the Age of Oil...



In recent years, the debate over nuclear power has revived, with proponents maintaining that we can find environmentally sound and politically acceptable ways to deal with the waste and security hazards. But even assuming that to be true, the potential is limited. To produce enough nuclear power to equal the power we currently get from fossil fuels, you would have to build 10,000 of the largest possible nuclear power plants. That’s a huge, probably nonviable initiative, and at that burn rate, our known reserves of uranium would last only for 10 or 20 years.

As things stand today, the only possible substitutes for our fossil-fuel dependency are light from the sun and nuclear energy. Developing a way of running a civilization like ours on those resources is an enormous challenge. A great deal of it is social and political...


What about three of the things on that graph in your opening post?

Conserve, lifestyle change and substitution where possible. We can do those even if peak oil is a big lie
and it would cut pollution as well.

I assume you are looking at nuclear power so as to maintain your current way of life?

It used to be that over 80% of the population worked at farming and it's related activities. Now it's less than 2% and the population explosion thanks to the energy from oil now lives in cities. I forsee a massive "back to the land" movement. Buy farmland if you can.

Like it or not we are going to have to powerdown (i.e. Conserve, lifestyle change and substitution) and many people are going to die from war, famine and disease.

We'll be lucky to get through it as a species IMO.
.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 09:27 PM
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No more cheap oil? We have more oil now than we did 10 years ago when it was $20 per barrel. Why? The Canadian oil-sands and deep offshore rigs. Things that all the doomsayers that came out during the Y2K mania who us about peak oil and running out did not take into consideration.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by Frosty
No more cheap oil? We have more oil now than we did 10 years ago when it was $20 per barrel. Why? The Canadian oil-sands and deep offshore rigs. Things that all the doomsayers that came out during the Y2K mania who us about peak oil and running out did not take into consideration.


I agree with you.....we do have a lot of oil....plenty of oil actually. You are right, the canadian tar sands and the shale reserves found in the us west has plenty of oil. But what you seem to be missing is that there is an entirely different process required to extract oil from the oil sands or from shale. It's not a matter of drilling, hitting a pocket of oil and then pumping out. With oil sands or shale, new processes need to be developed to extract the oil. We have the technology, we certainly have the need, but we can't extract the oil from these reserves in an economically feasible fashion. That is, the cost of the process to extract the oil is prohibitive unless the costs are offset by the price of the oil. According to the Rand Report, prices around 70 dollars a barrel will make extracting oil from shale feasible.

Like I said, and we agree on this, there is plenty of oil. But, and here's where we differ, we don't have plenty of cheap oil. It's going to cost us to get that oil and it's going to cost the average joe more at the pumps.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 10:19 PM
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Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
We do not have an oil shortage. In fact, the United States has enough oil to supply fuel needs for 400 years!


We have plenty of helium 3 on the moon too, which means nothing towards realistic options. Offering speculative crystal ball reports and whining about semantics does not add to solutions.


- from your oil shale link
Since the future prospects for oil shale remain uncertain, the RAND report recommends that the federal government refrain from major investments in oil shale development until the private sector is prepared to commit its technical, management and financial resources.



source

Study sees oil shale development 20 years down the road
Vast oil shale reserves in the West offer potential relief to soaring petroleum prices -- as long as we can wait 20 years or more.

That's the conclusion of a new report by research firm Rand Corp., the first independent, in-depth study of oil shale since the industry went bust and caused an economic meltdown in western Colorado in 1982.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


There isn't enough arable land to support your bio-fuel claims either, start looking up the facts.



"Almost all of the arable land on Earth would need to be covered with the fastest-growing known energy crops, such as switchgrass, to produce the amount of energy currently consumed from fossil fuels annually." (U.S. DOE)


Now you tell me what 6.5 billion people are going to eat? Rocks?



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by Gools
Sorry to burst your bubble though...


Burst away, although I was thinking of nuclear power to buy more time towards the ultimate solution. Finite resources all have their peaks.

Some speculate a 50 year nuclear generation window, and currently it's the cheapest alternative to generate electricity i.e. Palo Alto can put out electricity for $.04/kwh.

War pundits are more apt to look at massive population reduction as a feasible solution though, so I don't see how the free market economy will stay intact to even attempt a new energy infrastructure. So far it's the war plan in opertation, and the big oil companies are just sitting back and waiting too (virtually no exploration or infrastructure building).

As per nuclear energy:

Current usage is about 68,000 tU/yr. Thus the world's present measured resources of uranium in the lower cost category (3.5 Mt) and used only in conventional reactors, are enough to last for some 50 years.
www.world-nuclear.org...


I think your ideas are probably the most realistic, where as mine are more optimistic considering the current political and corporate enviroment.

Getting a farm is sound advice.




[edit on 20-9-2005 by Regenmacher]



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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I totally agree that nuclear is the best way out. Not just because of oil out but also as the environments well being seems to be on a even smaller timeline.
I know people complain about nuclear waist, but at the end of the day most of it could be burnt up or handled safely with modern technology. Question is would i rather live in an England with a few thousand deaths from cancer (possibly none if things are well handled) or an England which will almost certainly be minus 50 in the next 100 years (just like 10,000 years ago).
Add to consideration that the environmental damage will last about the same period as most types of nuclear waist.

Nuclear is the best way to solve 2 problems with one stone. Windfarms can generate electricity for fuel sale cars but cannot supply the national grid too reliably. The fusion reactor in France is nothing but an expensive experiment and is likely to consume more electricity than it produces, it is not intended to supply the grid just solve problems that MIGHT lead to reactors that some day will.
Personally with the Co2 induced climate we are facing, and about ten years to get our act together (according to Newscientist and many top scientists anyway) both today’s green leaders and politicians will be judged by history most unfavourably. I think they are both going to be hated for hundreds of years (but most of all Bush, Blair and those helping them for their confidence tricks).



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 04:31 PM
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Nuclear reactors powered by Thorium are now being researched, we have allot more Thorium then Uranium much more.

Also I wanted to add that Solar power is now approaching an exponential growth trend as depicted in this graph...




[edit on 20-9-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by Frosty
No more cheap oil? We have more oil now than we did 10 years ago when it was $20 per barrel. Why? The Canadian oil-sands and deep offshore rigs. Things that all the doomsayers that came out during the Y2K mania who us about peak oil and running out did not take into consideration.


Two things wrong with your statement. First off oil-sands costs allot to refine. You cannot get around that, it became economically feasible at 60 $ Barrel and 60 $ barrel is not cheap by any means.

Secondly Y2K was a real problem and your comment insults all of us who worked and solved that problem at the last minute due to denyer nonsense in the executive suites. Airtraffic and all other vital systems were never vulnerable but E-Commerce was wide open to bugs and failures so please next time learn before you pop off at the mouth.



posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 12:19 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000

Originally posted by Frosty
No more cheap oil? We have more oil now than we did 10 years ago when it was $20 per barrel. Why? The Canadian oil-sands and deep offshore rigs. Things that all the doomsayers that came out during the Y2K mania who us about peak oil and running out did not take into consideration.


Two things wrong with your statement. First off oil-sands costs allot to refine. You cannot get around that, it became economically feasible at 60 $ Barrel and 60 $ barrel is not cheap by any means.

Secondly Y2K was a real problem and your comment insults all of us who worked and solved that problem at the last minute due to denyer nonsense in the executive suites. Airtraffic and all other vital systems were never vulnerable but E-Commerce was wide open to bugs and failures so please next time learn before you pop off at the mouth.


Do computers really think?
People acted as if computers were going to launch missiles with nukes at other countries and that there wasn't enough time or man power to fix the problem. All I am saying is that I first started to hear about peak oil during the Y2K mania.

I was also under the impression that new methods of extracting shale and sand oil are still being researched to drive the cost down to about $40-50 per barrel.

Anyway, throium as a nuclear fuel is used to breed U233 which is the fissionable material. Currently the biggest researcher into this is India, because of the Nuclear Prolifiration Treaty they failed to abide.

As far as alternatives such as ethanol are concerned, those which use plant matter from farmland, the idea is horribly wrong and its concequences do not bode well for food supplies.



posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 12:29 PM
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Do computers really think?
People acted as if computers were going to launch missiles with nukes at other countries and that there wasn't enough time or man power to fix the problem. All I am saying is that I first started to hear about peak oil during the Y2K mania.


Sorry about that I'm just a bit touchy as I was in the middle of that as a hardware tech and they were riding my ass into the ground with updating the software in order for it to be compliant, the Y2K mania allthough not completely justified did help avert an economic collapse instead we had a technology deflation. We were never in danger of an Apocolypse as the most vital systems were fixed far sooner then the E-Commerce comps. Exectutives
Phaw.



I was also under the impression that new methods of extracting shale and sand oil are still being researched to drive the cost down to about $40-50 per barrel.


True but 40-50 isn't cheap still, and it won't stay there forever as demand shows little sign of slowing or stopping. How many barrels of Shale does Canada have anyway? And I read a DOE report that cautioned the US gov't to wait till 80 $ a barrel to start pumping serious money into it.



Anyway, throium as a nuclear fuel is used to breed U233 which is the fissionable material. Currently the biggest researcher into this is India, because of the Nuclear Prolifiration Treaty they failed to abide.


But how much do we have left? I know we don't have that much regular urainium left something like 50-60 years as stated above, how much time will Thorium add to this?



As far as alternatives such as ethanol are concerned, those which use plant matter from farmland, the idea is horribly wrong and its concequences do not bode well for food supplies.


Totally agree, but we do have huge stores of Canola that pretty much goes to waste. Ask Dulcimer about that, surplus could be turned into Biodiesel and blends could be mandated just to buy us a bit more time.

Peak Oil is a real problem. Every finite resource has a peak, its predicting when it's going to hit and how hard it will hit that things start to get complicated.

[edit on 21-9-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000


Do computers really think?
People acted as if computers were going to launch missiles with nukes at other countries and that there wasn't enough time or man power to fix the problem. All I am saying is that I first started to hear about peak oil during the Y2K mania.


Sorry about that I'm just a bit touchy as I was in the middle of that as a hardware tech and they were riding my ass into the ground with updating the software in order for it to be compliant, the Y2K mania allthough not completely justified did help avert an economic collapse instead we had a technology deflation. We were never in danger of an Apocolypse as the most vital systems were fixed far sooner then the E-Commerce comps. Exectutives
Phaw.



I was also under the impression that new methods of extracting shale and sand oil are still being researched to drive the cost down to about $40-50 per barrel.


True but 40-50 isn't cheap still, and it won't stay there forever as demand shows little sign of slowing or stopping. How many barrels of Shale does Canada have anyway? And I read a DOE report that cautioned the US gov't to wait till 80 $ a barrel to start pumping serious money into it.



Anyway, throium as a nuclear fuel is used to breed U233 which is the fissionable material. Currently the biggest researcher into this is India, because of the Nuclear Prolifiration Treaty they failed to abide.


But how much do we have left? I know we don't have that much regular urainium left something like 50-60 years as stated above, how much time will Thorium add to this?



As far as alternatives such as ethanol are concerned, those which use plant matter from farmland, the idea is horribly wrong and its concequences do not bode well for food supplies.


Totally agree, but we do have huge stores of Canola that pretty much goes to waste. Ask Dulcimer about that, surplus could be turned into Biodiesel and blends could be mandated just to buy us a bit more time.

Peak Oil is a real problem. Every finite resource has a peak, its predicting when it's going to hit and how hard it will hit that things start to get complicated.

[edit on 21-9-2005 by sardion2000]


I'm not sure about the abundance of thorium but it is decayed inside a reactor into fissionable uranium233, so if we have 200 years worth of thorium we will have 200 years worth of u233 assuming we only use thorium in nuclear reactors.
www.abovetopsecret.com...

There is also a possiblity of fusion power. In France they are slated to start work on the first fusion plant hooked to a power grid in 2016. If everything there goes fine we may live to see dozens of these facilities in the US and hundreds across the world.


$40-50 isn't necessarily as cheap as it used to be but at least we wouldn't have to worry about you cannuks ennacting oil embargos and decreasing production like OPEC and the Arabs.



posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 12:44 PM
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I think it should be noted that sardion2000 lives in a oil rich country, and if he's concerned then oil dependent countries should be 10x concerned. Canada sends over 99% of its crude oil exports to the U.S.



Ontario won't shy away from nuclear power
Billions of dollars will be spent to build new nuclear plants in Ontario if a review of the province's tight energy supply concludes they're necessary, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Wednesday.

McGuinty plays the odds on nuclear option
"We are prepared to go ahead with economical, safe, new nuclear," said McGuinty in Niagara Falls in a major speech to energy industry executives.

That was then. Now, with little new power-generating capacity having been built in the province in the past 15 years and with memories of last summer's brownouts and near-miss blackouts looming large, the pressure is on the government.


Interesting dilemena up North, the enviromentalists aren't taking this sitting down, which probably will be the same mentality in the US. It's sad cause it just gives the war option more reason to come to fruitation, meanwhile we continue to pump the skies with fossil fuel pollution..



[edit on 21-9-2005 by Regenmacher]



posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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I have a question that hopefully someone can answer. How much Petrol do we get out of a Barrel of Sweet Crude versus a Barrel of Shale? I seem to remember that Shale produces allot less Petrol then Crude but how much? Also found this article...

www.marketwatch.com...

Here's the interesting part....


In a recent survey conducted by CNW Marketing, over one-third of new-car buyers are now considering a hybrid, and they're willing to pay a $3,000 premium. This number stands in stark contrast to the beginning of the summer when a scant 5% of new-car buyers were interested. And they were only willing to pay $500 extra.


Supply and Demand in action. Will it be enough though.

[edit on 21-9-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 09:18 AM
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1) Methane production via biomass digesters... China already has 5 million of them installed. Gas powered electric generators can be easily adapated for methane. The more you (and your animals) poo the brighter your lights. The technology is simple... requires only brick (stone), mortar, pipe, and a big innertube to store the methane (there are other methods for storage too). Methane can be used as is to cook on, keep water hot, or run a light.

2) Biodiesel... Heated soy oil substitutes for diesel and only requires small amounts of the real deal on startup and shutdown. Even the real stuff needed for startup can be substituted with a glycerine-chemically-removed version of soy oil.

Do your google research on biomass and biodiesel! I intend to convert my septic system to a biomass reactor within 2 years and my truck to biodiesel within 3. Goodbye big oil, these are the future's solutions. AND they are decentralized!

Sri Oracle



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