A quite interesting article concludes that a crunch of the World oil supply may be expected as early as 2025. On the short term, there are little opportunities to meet a still increasing demand, whatever the scenario may be.
What take home lesson can be drawn from this, knowing that, overall, the World will show a growing energy demand — the downturn in 2020 being presumably just an anecdotal vagary?
The total annual energy demand is currently covered to 85% by fossils. But the growth is still satisfied to 70-80% by fossils — in particular oil products for transportation due to their liquid form. In other words, Alternative Non Fossil Sources (ANFS, as I prefer this to the wrong use of the “renewable” word) are far away to grow fast enough.
This means that all investments in ANFS can only be realized if sufficient fossil resources are available, and this will remain valid until they will have an autonomous virtuous cycle, thus many many years to come.
My paradoxical conclusion: the stronger the push for ANFS, the stronger the need for an ongoing fossil supply. The greens are wrong to slash and bash fossil investments which are dearly needed if they want a rapid deployment of their beloved ANFS.
In other words: while weaning ourselves from fossil energy sources, a long term necessity, we still need to suck on it for quite a long time; and to do it in the best possible economic conditions.
In the meantime however, as most ANFS still aren’t economically or even energetically competitive; absurd policies try to overcome this by fiscal deterrents and incentives, or by subsidies and financial commitments, thus passing over huge debts to future generations.
We have the remarkable chance that fossil resources are available at still affordable economic terms, allowing time to invent and develop true alternatives. Let’s develop and use them wisely.