Peak Oil is You

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IEA & See Peak Oil Happening This Decade

Back in 2019 — before the Covid pandemic hit — the International Energy Agency (IEA) said it had peered into the future and could see no sign of “peak oil” happening any time soon. There was simply no end to the demand for oil and other fossil fuels in sight. A lot has happened since then. Covid brought a sharp decline in economic activity. Then the Russian invasion of Ukraine disrupted Europe’s decades-long dependence on cheap Russian methane gas.

In June, the IEA took another look into the future and announced “peak oil” was in fact on the horizon. Here’s what its latest prognostications had to say.

“Growth in the world’s demand for oil is set to slow almost to a halt in the coming years, with the high prices and security of supply concerns highlighted by the global energy crisis hastening the shift towards cleaner energy technologies, according to a new IEA report released today.

“The Oil 2023 medium-term market report forecasts that based on current government policies and market trends, global oil demand will rise by 6% between 2022 and 2028 to reach 105.7 million barrels per day (mb/d) — supported by robust demand from the petrochemical and aviation sectors. Despite this cumulative increase, annual demand growth is expected to shrivel from 2.4 mb/d this year to just 0.4 mb/d in 2028, putting a peak in demand in sight.

“In particular, the use of oil for transport fuels is set to go into decline after 2026 as the expansion of electric vehicles, the growth of biofuels and improving fuel economy reduce consumption.”

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in June, “The shift to a clean energy economy is picking up pace, with a peak in global oil demand in sight before the end of this decade as electric vehicles, energy efficiency and other technologies advance. Oil producers need to pay careful attention to the gathering pace of change and calibrate their investment decisions to ensure an orderly transition.”

Defining “Peak Oil”

It is an article of faith among those of us at CleanTechnica global headquarters that the key to keeping the Earth habitable for humans in the future is to stop the extraction, transportation, processing, and burning fossil fuels — today. My colleague Michael Barnard has written extensively on the topic of “peak oil,” and readers are encouraged to check out his articles, which are insightful and cogent.

In March, he reported that orders for new supertankers — known as Very Large Crude Carriers — have plummeted recently. Indeed, only one of those giant ships is scheduled to be launched between now and the end of 2025. The business case for putting an asset in service when the need for it is likely to disappear before the end of its useful life is the very definition of a stranded asset. See more on that topic below.

Last week, came to the same conclusion for different types of assets. In its analysis, it finds that energy demand grows less than half as much as economic growth but slightly faster than an increase in population.

“It is difficult to argue convincingly that something will come along big enough to upend these relationships over the short term. After all, the bulk of the buildings, vehicles, machinery and people that account for most of the energy consumption are already in place, and demand patterns change slowly. In 2012–2022, global real GDP grew at 3.0% per year, energy demand at 1.4% per year, and population at 1.1% per year,” it said.

The Growth Of Renewable Energy

Here’s an interesting statistic from the Oil Price folks. They say that over the last ten years, oil consumption has grown 0.8% per year, natural gas 1.7% per year, but renewables have grown at a whopping 12.5% per year rate. That makes it pretty clear what the future has in store. The bottom line for Oil Price is that they expect demand for fossil fuels to peak in 2027 — which is roughly in line with what the IEA said in June.

The surge in renewable energy is largely a result of Putin’s failed aggression in Ukraine. Deprived of cheap methane gas from Russia, Europe has made a hasty and largely unplanned switch to wind and solar power. (The UK is heading in the opposite direction, sadly.)

Once renewables get into service, they go to the front of the line in the power dispatch queue, displacing fossil fueled generation either because they have a preference or they are cheaper. That means they will have an immediate impact on usage of coal and methane gas, both electricity-generating fuels, rather than on oil, which does not count much in electric generation.

For that reason, Oil Price believes fossil fuels — especially methane and coal — will be displaced more quickly in the power generation sector than oil will be displaced in road transportation. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that fossil fuel consumption as a whole will slow down and peak in 2027, with “peak oil” lagging a few years behind coal and methane gas.

Oil Price cites several imponderables and unknowables that might alter its projections. A stronger world economy would require more energy. Since the supply of hydro and nuclear power is fixed and since large-scale renewables require several years to come online, fossil fuels would be left to fill the gap. A weaker global economy, on the other hand, would require less fossil fuel consumption. The recent focus on green hydrogen could dampen demand for fossil fuels and there is always the possibility that other wars will upend all projections and predictions.

Stranded Assets

Peak oil. DALL·E generated image of big pipeline leaking a gusher of dollars, digital art

DALL·E generated image of big pipeline leaking a gusher of dollars.

Remember the talk about oil tankers and stranded assets above? Here’s the corollary. Oil Price warns, “If you are planning a big project, something like a pipeline for Vaca Muerta or to connect eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe, think about the implications of dumping a big new supply into a barely growing market. Will you get the price you want and your money out quickly enough?” Clearly, the publication is seeing a high probability of projects like that becoming economically unfeasible long before their useful life is up.

Peak Or Plateau?

Michael Barnard wrote in March of this year, “Many are pretending that peak oil demand will result in a decades-long plateau, but that’s wishful thinking. Why?

“80% of fuel demand is for ground transportation, and that’s all going to electrify. That’s low-hanging fruit. As I published recently, India is at 83% heavy rail electrification with a target of 100% within a few years. China is at 72% and climbing. Europe is at 60% and climbing. China’s 600,000 electric buses and 500,000 electric trucks make it clear that all but niches of off-road will be electric. Pipelines will see dwindling crude, gas, and diesel loads, with bankruptcies and consolidation, done strategically and well in some jurisdictions, and badly with fuel shortages in others.

“In western countries, new car sales are dropping, not rising. In a recent review of the statistics, I saw only one country, Germany, with any rise at all year over year, and that was 1%. Asian purchases are rising, especially in China, but China is already buying well over 60% of plug-in vehicles annually. Electric airplanes and electric ships will eat into fuel requirements for those segments steadily over the next 30 years, and biofuels will eat most of the rest.”

The Takeaway

People have been writing about “peak oil” for 50 years, but that tipping point is still elusive. The difference today is that commercial-scale wind and solar power are widely available and electric vehicles are traveling rapidly up the S-curve toward becoming mainstream. No one can say with precision when the high point of fossil fuels will occur, but the certainty that such a time is rapidly approaching gets stronger with each passing day.

There is little each of us as individuals can do to affect global demand for fossil fuels, but we can tend to our own garden. That means switching over to more efficient heating and cooling equipment, driving an electric car, making our homes more energy efficient, or possibly installing rooftop solar with a backup battery to lessen the amount of thermally generated electricity we use in our personal space.

It also means voting for representatives who will push the green energy agenda forward, regardless of what our personal grievances are against “them,” “the other,” liberals, and so forth. We are all in this together and it will take all of us to make the world safe for human habitation for millennia to come.


33 Comments on "IEA & See Peak Oil Happening This Decade"

  1. Dooma on Tue, 15th Aug 2023 10:07 pm 

    Hey Mak, it is dooma here. Are you still aound?

  2. Sean on Thu, 17th Aug 2023 5:18 pm 

    global oil demand will rise by 6% between 2022 and 2028 to reach 105.7 million barrels per day (mb/d)

    Where is it going to come from?

  3. Dredd on Wed, 23rd Aug 2023 9:13 am 

    “NASA scientist issues grim warning 35 years after his original prediction: ‘[W]e knew it was coming’” – (James Hansen told Congress).

    They did nothing that met the degree of danger.

  4. Count Snorter Von Liechtenstein on Sat, 26th Aug 2023 7:21 am 

    Soon the global boiling will see coffee being too hot to drink!

  5. Dredd on Sat, 26th Aug 2023 2:47 pm 

    Where da brains at (On The Origin of The Containment Entity – 15)?

  6. SCR3W UR FREEDUM this is what elite whitey supertard arnold swagnenager said just a tiny tiny snipet of constant MUZZ-19 messaging that caused supertards on PO forum go POOF on Sun, 27th Aug 2023 8:28 pm 



  7. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 12:57 pm 

    I cannot get that below, because Québec and Canada are stomping on my rights to own firearms days in and days out.

    I will destroy Canada and Québec.

  8. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 7:32 pm 

    I had a little nap. Ca recommence. Il vont me doper pis me donner une mise à jour corporelle.

    Je suis vole haut comment un cerf-volant.
    Je ne serais pas toujours sur la terre d’après moauh.

    Vous allez tous morrir iccette ma gang de cave.

  9. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 7:35 pm 

    Je joue a superman. Je vole comme superman vers le ciel and je passe a travers le dôme et je me retrouve à l’extérieur de la planète terre. Je vais tu tuer piece of shit Legault a partir de l’extérieur de la terre.

  10. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 7:37 pm 

    J’aime jouer a superman. Je saute dans les air vers le plafonnât en signe que je quitte la terre. Vous allez toute mourir mes connards.

  11. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 7:40 pm 

    Quand j’écris en Français ca veut dire que c’est personnel. Je veux la destruction total du Québec et du Canada. Superman, je vole vers le ciel et je quitte la terre.

  12. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 7:45 pm 

    How climate change fueled Hurricane Idalia

    C’est ma pute personnelle que vous a envoyer cet ouragan. Ce n’est pas les changements climatiques, c’est ma pute et moi qui sommes entrain de détruire la planète. On fait juste de commencer avec vous autres.

  13. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 7:48 pm 

    Moi et le Québec, c’est personnel. Le registre des armes a feu du Québec est une question personnelle pour moi. Je vais te détruire d’en haut Legault

  14. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 8:58 pm 

    I am back in my bed, this is all I do sleeping, sometime I see spots of color. I am not going to be on earth for ever.

  15. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 9:07 pm 

    I am buzzing, but I did not drink or smoke dope. Must be a strong drug they give me to hide my pain.

  16. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 9:12 pm 

    long necks everywhere, I even see long neck in my toilet bold. I AM TRIPPING HARD, this is fucking good sutff

  17. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 9:15 pm 

    I am tripping balls, this is fucking good stuff. really good stuff, and it is free, it removes the pain

  18. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 9:22 pm 

    Which girl has the nicest ass. Which girl has the biggest vaginal budge. Which girl would you rape first

  19. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 9:29 pm 

    Just long neck

    I am tripping ball. This stuff work good at removing painee

  20. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 10:27 pm 

    If I have a say in the futur of earth, nobody is coming to rescue earth, you will all be executed. I will handle Québec, Legault and Canada as a personal pet project of mine.

  21. eee on Wed, 30th Aug 2023 10:30 pm 

    The only things I like about this reality are the chemistry and math. All the rest of this reality is expendable and you will all be executed.

  22. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 1:48 am 

    Trying to raise my sexual appetite.

  23. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 10:40 am 

    GOD is destroying Québec and he is making sure that after the collapse nothing will ever be rebuild in Québec. Why would you do something.

    Québec and Canada will pay for stomping on my rights to buy hands guns freely and incognito. When we are done destroying Québec, nothing will ever be build on this land forever.

    After all, I did order the total destruction of Québec and Canada. C’est tres personelle pour moi la desctrution de Québec et la mort de Legault

  24. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 11:02 am 

    Dieu et moi on va tuer ta famille et toi, criss de Legault a merde. Je fais just de commencer avec la destruction du Québec et Canada.

  25. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 11:30 am 

    I don’t think you understand how dire the situation really is. You waited to long. The only option you have left now is to setup death squad and kill them. You waited too long. You restricted firearms and hand guns access for too long. You made it easy for them to invade earth and left earth undefended. You are your family really deserve to die piece of shit Legault. Same with Trudeau, Charest, Chrétien, Peladeau, Desmarais, Couillard (REM) and son on.

  26. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 11:33 am 

    Earth and all the population of earth will be destroyed. You are too stupid to be keep alive., You are unworthy of life and higher knowledge.

  27. ee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 11:44 am 

    I was looking at the news here and there, it looks to me that earth and its population will not get another chance and GID will kill all earth population. You are too stupid to be keep alive. Only good thing about earth: chemistry, physics, advance math, and engineering math. The rest of earth has no value to me. Earth has no value for me, it will therefore be destroyed

  28. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 11:59 am 

    It is always the same cock suckers. The ones that have organized the polytechnic massacre, the three mills islands incident the Bataclan massacre. September 9/11. It is the same cabal. They are trying to save their previous little reality. They have fucking it up and now are looking for a savior. I was suppose to be this savior, but I told them to go fuck themself. No one is coming to save earth.

    You should have killed all the Jews of the world when I asked.

    You should have remove all the Canada firearm and handguns laws when I started to complain. You should have recalled the Canada parliament and remove the laws.

    You deserve to die and you will die. You are just piece of shit coward,. you will die like coward on your knees while we are destroying earth.

  29. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 12:24 pm 

    Go look at the fucking news. I will tell you what I see, since you are so stupid and need someone to tell what to think and how to act.

    What I see the destruction of earth and the execution of all the population of earth. Long necks and face moved forward, natural destructors events (fires, tornados, floods) left and right. It is over. Nothing will save you and no savior is coming for you.

    Dumb ass mother fuckers

  30. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 3:24 pm 

    You could not resist, you had to voluntary lower they 10 year US treasure yield to keep the system a alive a bit longer. You won’t accept higher interest rate. Does not matter what you do, it is an exponential function and eventually it will blow up.

  31. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 3:48 pm 

    You, piece of shit Legault, Desmarais, Chrétien, Mulroney, Péladeau, Charest, Couillard (Rem) you will all be executed when the time come.

  32. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 3:59 pm 

    Very soon there will be no police cars in the street to protect the politicians, bankers, or other garbage elites. Very soon you will be alone with no protection. Very soon you wont be able to get car you car fix.

  33. eee on Thu, 31st Aug 2023 6:57 pm 

    It is getting easier and easier to see the illusion. Even the fucking foods look fake.

    I am not sure how long I will be on this earth, or I will die. Let’s get the fuck out of here.

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