Fossil fuels: the oil system is collapsed quickly
This could compromise renewable energies, warn French government scientists
Source: Byline Times, Nafeez AhmedtraduDu by the readers of the Les-Cises site
A dog on snow next to a power plant in Omsk, Russia.Photo: Reuters/Alamy
Forget the "petroleum peak".Nafeez Ahmed reveals how the oil and gas industries cannibalize as the cost of extraction of fossil fuels increase.
A team of French scientists specializing in energy warns that the collapse of the world oil system is so fast that it could derail the transition to a renewable energy system if it does not occur quickly enough.In just 13 years, global oil production could go into an exponential terminal decline, accompanied by the general collapse of world oil and gas industries over the next three decades.
But just because the land is lacking in oil and gas.It is rather because they devoured more and more to stay alive.The oil and gas industries consume energy exponentially, just to continue to extract oil and gas.This is why they entered a destructive spiral of increasing production costs, reduction in profits, increased debt and irreversible economic decline.
Cleaning the old dying model of fossil fuels to survive is a recipe for civilizational suicide.
Energy shortages and pricing on a global scale are just a taste of what awaits us if we remain dependent on fossil fuels.However, an increasingly widespread discourse wrongly designates the "transition to clean energy" like the culprit.
The Economist, for example, describes the global outbreak of gas prices as "the first big energy shock in the green era", inappropriate investments in renewable energies and "certain transitional fossil fuels" (like gas).This could lead to "a popular revolt against climate policies.»»
This implies that the fundamental engine of global energy volatility is the transition to the abandonment of fossil fuels: but this erroneous story is the exact opposite..
Investment energy performance (EROI)
La clé pour comprendre tout cela réside dans la manière dont la nouvelle étude, publiée dans la revue éditée par Elsevier Applied Energy, applique le concept de « retour sur investissement énergétique»» (EROI).
Developed by Professor Charles Hall, specialist in systemic ecology (with whom I worked on my book Failing States, collapsing system, defaulting states, collapse of systems, NDT), eroi measures the quantityenergy that must be used to extract energy from a given resource or technology.This is a simple ratio that estimates the amount of energy that can be extracted for each injected energy unit.It is therefore obvious that the higher the ratio, the better, because it means that we have more for his money.
The new study was carried out by three scientists of the French government-Louis Delannoy, Pierre-Yves Longaretti and Emmanuel Prados, of the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automatic (INRIA), which depends on the French Ministry of National Educationand of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry - as well as by David J.Murphy, environmental and energy specialist at Saint-Laurent University in New York.
Their research has revealed that 15.5 % - more than a tenth - energy produced from oil in the world is already necessary to continue to produce all oil.
However, the situation gets worse, instead of improving.Since the production of conventional oil that is easier to obtain has slowed down and has reached a tray about fifteen years ago, we have been dependent on more and more unconventional oil forms, which use larger quantities of'energy with more complex techniques such as fracturing.
The descending spiral
In 1950, the eroi of world oil production was very high, in the order of 1 for 44 (which means that for each energy unit introduced, we would remove 44).However, as illustrated by the graph below taken from the new study, this value experienced a dizzying and shocking fall.
In 2020, it reached approximately 1 for 8, and should decrease and stabilize to around 6.7 from 2040.
By 2024 - in the next four years - the amount of energy we use for global oil production will increase to 25 % of energy production.In other words, the world will use a quarter of the energy produced from oil only to continue to produce this oil.
But instead of becoming more effective, fossil fuels extraction technologies are less and less.This is why the amount of energy we need to continue to produce oil increases exponentially.
By 2050, half of the energy extracted from world oil reserves will have to be reinjected in new extractions to continue producing oil.The authors have found an interesting name for this self -destructive phenomenon: they call it "energy cannibalism.»»
This trend has massive consequences on long -term economic growth that few conventional economists today recognize.The essential problem is that the more energy we need to extract energy itself, the less energy available for other sectors of the economy and society.
As Tim Jackson and Andrew Jackson from the University of Surrey economists have shown, there are now many scientific evidence that the decline of Eroi is an underlying factor in the decline of economic growth.
This suggests that the last two decades of global economic turbulence are closely linked to continuous structural dependence on the world economy with regard to fossil fuels: a dependence which, if it continues, will guarantee a dark future of energy and economic declinein a context of an increasing environmental crisis.
Yes, the era of fossil fuels ends
Qu’est-ce que cela signifie pour l’idée de « pic pétrolier»» ?
According to scientists, previous discussions on the petroleum peak were too polarized to be useful. Ils appellent donc à une réouverture du débat sur la base de ces nouvelles conclusions, non pas parce que nous sommes en train de manquer de pétrole (les auteurs soulignent que « nous avons clairement trop de stocks de combustibles fossiles pour respecter des objectifs climatiques ambitieux»»), mais parce que notre capacité économique à accéder au pétrole à un prix abordable diminue à un rythme exponentiel dont les décideurs ne parlent pas.
"If shale oil has been able to compensate for the production platform for conventional oil since the mid-2000s, they plan, no other oil should take off and become the next source of emergency energy.»»
According to them, this will define the moment when all world oil production will likely reach a peak and will decline-a date which, according to them, is somewhere around 2034: that is to say in only 13 years.
"There is an increasingly close window between oil prices high enough for extraction and development to be viable and low enough for consumers to have access to it," they conclude.From this point of view, the petroleum peak will never be a total peak of the supply or a peak of demand, but a mixture of the two in proportions difficult to measure and project.»»
Other analysts have stressed that technological ruptures such as photovoltaic solar, wind turbines, storage batteries and electric vehicles (VE) are in the process of eliminating the demand for oil and gas during the next decade.Oil is therefore confronted with a perfect storm, both upstream and downstream.
In a new separate study, the same team has looked into the global gas data and has found that if we currently use 6.7 % of world energy to produce gas, this quantity increases at an exponential pace andwill reach almost a quarter by 2050.
Au cours des prochaines décennies, les investissements dans le pétrole et le gaz seront donc « coincés»» en raison de trois pressions convergentes : les politiques climatiques exigeant que les combustibles fossiles restent dans le sol ; l’effondrement de la demande, les combustibles fossiles et les moteurs à combustion étant de plus en plus ébranlés par l’énergie solaire, l’énergie éolienne, les batteries et les véhicules électriques ; et l’accélération du « cannibalisme énergétique»», les industries pétrolières et gazières se consumant elles-mêmes jusqu’à disparaître en essayant de continuer à fonctionner.
Abandon the alternative
The most alarming involvement of this new research may concern renewable energies technologies.The authors conclude:
“[…] Either the global energy transition is done fairly quickly, or we risk aggravation of climate change, a historic and long -term recession due to energy deficits (at least for certain regions of the globe), or a combination of severalof these problems.»»
Donc, si nous retardons trop longtemps la transformation en énergie propre, il pourrait ne pas y avoir assez d’énergie pour soutenir la transition en premier lieu – ce qui conduirait au « pire des scénarios»» : l’effondrement à la fois du système de combustibles fossiles et de la capacité à créer une alternative viable.
The good news is that, according to more and more research, this alternative could open a large space of possibilities for human civilization.According to the financial reflection group Carbon Tracker, renewable energy technologies such as solar energy, wind energy and batteries become more effective, are more and more quickly deployed and generate higher yields.
As I supported for the Rethinkx technological forecasting group, it is also increasingly obvious that renewable energy technologies have a higher and increasing eroi compared to fossil fuels, and that if they are deployedoptimal, they can avoid strangulation bottlenecks in the supply of minerals and materials.
There's no time to lose.The new research by the French team confirm that, whether we wanted it or not, human civilization is at the heart of the fastest transformation of the global energy system that we have ever known.Having the old dying paradigm of fossil fuels is a recipe for civilizational suicide.
Source: Byline Times, Nafeez Ahmed, 20-10-2021
Translated by the readers of the Les-Cises site
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