Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “the big picture”

J. David Hughes – PCI – Energy Sustainability Dilemma

Youtube text: A fascinating talk by J. David Hughes, a research fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, given at Cornell, May 2, 2012, “Energy Sustainability Dilemma : Powering the Future in a Finite World”. Most of the easy energy is gone. This was from oil which was plentiful, and easy to get, with a very high net Energy Return on Investment (EROI). Now we are pursuing Deep Ocean Drilling, Tar Sands, Fracked Shale Gas, etc. Are we heading for a dead end? What about Wind and Solar? Can they make up the difference? This talk is somewhat technical, but essential if we are to understand our energy options as our society pushes for more energy. [slides]

Collapse of the Industrial Civilization – Michael Ruppert

Youtube text: Abby Martin speaks with Michael Ruppert, investigative journalist and author of ‘Crossing the Rubicon’, about destructive energy policies, the global energy crisis and the potential for a collapse of industrial civilization as we know it unless people become more than just passive actors [uploaded Oct 10, 2013].

Statoil – What Will the Future of Energy Look Like?

Eirik Waerness, Chief Economist at Statoil presents the company’s report ‘Energy Perspectives 2013′. The main facts discussed are related to the increasing energy demand, new oil and gas sources and the increasing role of natural gas.

[full report]

2013 BCEA Keynote – Richard Heinberg

2013 BCEA Keynote – Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute from Renewable Energy Alaska Project on Vimeo.

Annual Solar PV Installed Capacity 2000-2020





Renewable Energy Reserves

The diagram shows the absolute reserves of gas, oil, coal and uranium, as wel as the yearly reserves of renewable energy sources.


Richard Heinberg: Peak Oil and the Globe’s Limitations

Youtube text: “uploaded 10 jan 2011 – Richard Heinberg, senior fellow with the Post Carbon Institute and the author of The Party’s Over, Peak Everything and, most recently, Blackout, discusses the phenomenon of peak oil and how it will affect life on this planet.

Jorgen Randers – 2052

From Forty years ago, The Limits to Growth study addressed the grand question of how humans would adapt to the physical limitations of planet Earth. It predicted that during the first half of the 21st century the ongoing growth in the human ecological footprint would stop-either through catastrophic “overshoot and collapse”-or through well-managed “peak and decline.”

So, where are we now? And what does our future look like? In the book 2052, Jorgen Randers, one of the co-authors of Limits to Growth, issues a progress report and makes a forecast for the next forty years. To do this, he asked dozens of experts to weigh in with their best predictions on how our economies, energy supplies, natural resources, climate, food, fisheries, militaries, political divisions, cities, psyches, and more will take shape in the coming decades. He then synthesized those scenarios into a global forecast of life as we will most likely know it in the years ahead.

The good news: we will see impressive advances in resource efficiency, and an increasing focus on human well-being rather than on per capita income growth. But this change might not come as we expect. Future growth in population and GDP, for instance, will be constrained in surprising ways-by rapid fertility decline as result of increased urbanization, productivity decline as a result of social unrest, and continuing poverty among the poorest 2 billion world citizens. Runaway global warming, too, is likely.

So, how do we prepare for the years ahead? With heart, fact, and wisdom, Randers guides us along a realistic path into the future and discusses what readers can do to ensure a better life for themselves and their children during the increasing turmoil of the next forty years.


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Yossie Hollander on Ending Our Oil Addiction

Youtube text: published July 5, 2012 – In his TEDxChapmanU talk, Yossie enlightens the audience about the value of the world’s oil reserves, the impact of our oil addiction, and the ways we can develop cleaner and less expensive American-made fuels.


Mainstream Broker Turns Spenglerian

This is new, picked up from a Richard Heinberg tweet, a mainstream London broker firm announces the Untergang des Abendlandes, or at least that of industrial society:

The economy as we know it is facing a lethal confluence of four critical factors – the fall-out from the biggest debt bubble in history; a disastrous experiment with globalisation; the massaging of data to the point where economic trends are obscured; and, most important of all, the approach of an energy-returns cliff-edge.

The report presents the data and analysis in a scenery of Roman and Gothic ruins at sunset or against the background of dark clouds signaling a gathering storm. This is the first time we see a financial institution actually understanding the critical role of energy in the economic process and even introduces the concept of EROEI in the analysis. Chapeau! The significance of this report is not in the analysis or data presented, that could have been taken from elsewhere years ago, but that finally strong warning signals have arrived at the topfloors of financial circles in the London-New York axis of Anglosphere.

[] – Perfect storm energy, finance and the end of growth (pdf, 84p)
[] – Tullett Prebon

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