• 4 hours British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 8 hours Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 10 hours Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 11 hours Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 12 hours OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 13 hours London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 14 hours Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 17 hours Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 23 hours India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 1 day Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 1 day Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 2 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 2 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 2 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 2 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 2 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 3 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 3 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 3 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 3 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 3 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 3 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 3 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 3 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 4 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 4 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 4 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 4 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 6 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 6 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 7 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 7 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 7 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 7 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 7 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 7 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 7 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 7 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 8 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
Alt Text

Tesla Execs Bail As Cash Flow Hits Record Lows

Amid a rough second quarter…

Alt Text

Is Hydrogen Fuel As Dumb As Musk Thinks?

Hydrogen fuel cells have been…

What Is The Future of Oil? Are Alternatives Ready to Take up the Gauntlet!

What Is The Future of Oil? Are Alternatives Ready to Take up the Gauntlet!

What is the actual, fact based truth about the future of oil? Is oil already well on its way out of our lives? An ancient and outdated dinosaur, running dangerously low with the needle almost on empty? Or have recent discoveries of new oil around the globe and tremendously improved technology allowing us to use oil a lot wiser, getting more energy “bang” for our buck served to ensure that oil will always be our primary source of reliable energy?

People continue to talk with optimistic fervor about the numerous alternative energy sources available to us these days. However, if you stop to ask any expert specializing in a particular alternative energy field, if their favored power project is anywhere near being ready to supply even 50% of the energy that is currently provided by oil, they will simply look down in disappointment and admit the answer is “NO!”

As oil reserves continue to diminish and our planet’s need for reliable power continues to grow, logic dictates that we prepare for the worst while we hope and work for the best.  As more and more of the remaining oil lies beneath increasingly volatile and hostile regions, we need to find an answer to our energy problem, even if that answer is a multiple choice solution:

Nuclear Fission: Large amounts of energy can be inexpensively and quickly created, without emitting any carbon based waste or toxic gases into the environment, but a single mistake, leak, core meltdown or terrorist action could cause a catastrophe killing millions and poison the environment for thousands of years.

Biofuels: Alcohol and gas based fuels are created from organic waste and other renewable vegetative resources. However, this fuel source is still in its infancy and is fairly inefficient, often costing more to run the tractors and processes creating the energy than the value of energy created itself. Combustion of carbon based fuel causes pollution and can we truly risk burning up food stuff as the world population and starvation continues to grow?

Geothermal Energy: Harnessing the heat energy already present beneath the Earth means free energy, day or night, 7 days a week. But the destruction caused to the environment, most of which is located within protected, pristine nature preserves is a price that most people aren’t yet willing to pay.

Hydroelectric Energy: The gravitational pull of water flowing downhill turns turbine propellers which generate electricity. But the construction of the dams drastically alter the flow of the river as well as disrupt the spawning pools and prohibit the migration of fish, while flooding natural habitat of much of the local, native wildlife. When dams break, entire towns and cities can be flooded.

Solar Energy: Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity as it hits solar thermal panels. Free energy from the sun is an awesome idea but what if the sun goes down or it’s a cloudy day, what about bad weather and fog. Still in its infancy, the technology is still quite expensive, as are the storage facilities needed for more than 50% down time. Converting the “DC” solar energy to “AC” involves a converter that eats up about 8% of the electricity made.

Wind Energy: Wind mills with rotating propellers generate electricity without additional fuel sources, but wind is extremely unpredictable and variable in speed and most people find the turbines to be an eyesore while birds find them to be deadly.

So how do we replace oil, which supplies around 40% of our energy needs with alternative sources, none of which can currently manage to render more than 7% of the power that we need to survive?

As of today, nuclear and hydroelectric power are both only capable of providing us with 6% of our  energy needs each, while geothermal, solar, wind and biomass, all combined together, currently are capable of  supplying us with a grand total of power that is actually “less” than 1% of the energy we need.

That means that a lot more research, investment and focus needs be dedicated to making “all” of these alternative energy sources far more effective. Meanwhile, we must continue to use the latest technology to seek out oil in places that we have up till now, not had the science to be able to detect, while simultaneously learning to do a lot more with a lot less oil by utilizing it far more efficiently.

If we remain ever vigilant in our efforts , the human race should  be able to successfully rise to the occasion and get past this latest obstacle like we have every other hurdle that has crossed our path to progress over the many centuries. Considering the alternative, do we really have any other logical choice available to us?

Visit our homepage for the latest oil prices and energy news.

Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Cees Timmerman on January 06 2013 said:
    A bit unfair to not list the negatives of oil such as pollution, perhaps even more than uranium: http://www.epa.gov/radtown/drilling-waste.html

    For industry, as uranium-235 is as rare as platinum, LFTR thorium reactors are a much better choice of fission fuel, which also eat up existing fission waste and decrease the bomb and meltdown threats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor

    For homes, concentrated solar power (CSP) and even photovoltaic (PV) are more than enough to power homes up to Germany: http://inhabitat.com/sonnenschiff-solar-city-produces-4x-the-energy-it-needs/

    For vehicles, bamboo produces 8 times as much ethanol per acre per year than corn does: http://ecoenergynews.wordpress.com/why-invest-us/bamboo-can-lower-the-costs-of-ethanol-production/

    Excess energy such as that from windmills (see http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-10-25/windmills-overload-east-europe-s-grid-risking-blackout-energy) can be used to produce hydrogen, oxygen, and desalinated water, or just charge flywheels or molten salt energy storage.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News