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National - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Peak Oil Documentary on RTÉ

category national | environment | event notice author Monday June 18, 2007 10:07author by Caoimhín Ó Maolallaigh - Green Party/Comhaontas Glas Report this post to the editors

Future Shock: End of the Oil Age 9:30pm tonight

In Future Shock: End of the Oil Age, RTÉ's Chief Economic Correspondent George Lee brings us to the heart of one of the biggest challenges that Ireland faces in the future - life after Peak Oil.

Peak Oil refers to a point in time when, with remaining reserves beginning to diminish, world oil production will reach its maximum point. The crossing of this simple threshold will be one of the biggest events in modern history: every day that passes after Peak Oil, there will be less oil available. The ensuing and inevitable rise in oil prices will be only the first of the continuing shocks for Ireland and the developed world.

In this, the second of RTÉ Television's Future Shock programmes, George Lee examines how close we are to the end of the oil age and how dramatically life may change in Ireland as the wells begin, finally, to dry up.

The Celtic Tiger thrived on a diet of cheap fuel. Indeed, the whole of Ireland's trading economy, from our labour supply to our civic structures, from our ever-expanding suburbs to our lifestyle and leisure patterns, are all based on cheap fuel and maximum mobility. Without this steady supply of cheap oil, many of the presumptions behind our very standard of living itself may require rapid re-evaluation.

After the oil crash, even Ireland's geographical position as an Atlantic island could become a defining, and isolating, factor in Ireland's future.

George Lee is Chief Economics Correspondent for RTÉ News and Current Affairs, reporting for both RTÉ Radio and RTÉ Television.

Related Link: http://www.peakoil.ie
author by Pandapublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

INTERESTING NOTE: on every other article posted on indymedia.ie, the author of this piece has added "Green Party" as well as his name.

For this one, he hasn't.

author by Jimbobpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...just after his name

author by Pandapublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 13:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well, pandas have notoriously bad eyesight, so I must have missed it. (There's no way someone would have edited the article and not removed the comments is there? Now that woiuld be crazy)

author by Anonpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 14:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's on RTE 1 at 9:30pm

It will be interesting to see what date it uses for the peak, whether it will say that's its now or in the next decade. Also watch out to see what it proposes as solutions. -i.e. will it say we can continue the motoring utopia by growing fuel instead of food.

author by Anonpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 15:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Somewhat related, last Thursday the Independent newspaper in the UK, ran a frontpage headline titled: A World Without Oil including a full page inside on it. This is probably the first time that peak oil has been reported in a major way by any newspaper.

There is some commentary on the significance of this at: http://globalpublicmedia.com/the_independent_a_world_wi...t_oil where one person reports that the Independent intend to carry this story in the same way they have covered global warming recently.

So it looks like as these two issues break into the public conscious then the chance that something might actually be done increases because it becomes politically safer or more acceptable to do so.

Related Link: http://globalpublicmedia.com/the_independent_a_world_without_oil
author by chevronpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 18:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

People should go back and look at peak coal in the late 19th century, same thing, we are running out of coal! There is massive confusion about what determines the price of oil, it has very little to do with supply and far more to do with politics. Oil is fully cartelised by the companies and those companies own the political process in the west, particularly in the US. Peak oil will arrive when they decide they have extracted maximum profits from oil so what we are speaking about are peak oil profits not peak oil supply.

If we ran out of coal in the 19th century then how come they are reopening coal fileds throughout the US? Because it now makes sense to turn coal into, you guessed it, oil. Same in canada, huge resources of oil shale are being processed at an incredible cost to the environment to produce oil. It makes sense cos the price of oil is historically high. Furthermore at high prices it makes sense to extract oil from more expensivce locations, watch the west coast of Ireland.

This is doomsday crap akin to y2k and featuiring many of the same hysterics and conspiracy nuts. That rte are broadcasting a doc about it should indicate the meaninglessness of it.

But the big issue for me is why envoronmentalists are so upset about it, is it because those that are just dont understand capitalism? From an environmental perspective the disapearance of oil should herald a new utoppian age of mass transit and bicycle travel, shouldnt the green response to peak oil be 'bring it on'. yet all we here about from some 'sustainable' quarters is fear mongering about the collapse of civilisation. This is just a lot of hot air and indicates how little these people understand of the world they live in. Peak oil is already here for most of the worlds population. Some of the poorest people on earth live above lakes of oil and yet they walk everywhere and get their light and heat form the sun. Tell the people of Iraq and Nigeria about peak oil, how civilisation will collapse in 10 or 25 or 50 years because we are reaching the top of a curve on this graph over here.

This is the real issue about peak oil and its popuilartity among westerners who think they can save the world by turning everyone on to the latest cataclysm, they want some sort of transition to a sustainable existence akin to that they enjoy now and they think it can actually happen. And if the yanks and the brits continue to slaughter our brothers and sisters throughout the south it probably can, for a while anyway. Some of these halfwits complain that the US cares more about global warming than peak oil. peak oil is the hypocracy of fools.

author by peakoil portland oregon - peakoil portland oregonpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 20:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Could someone please record and post the IRE ONE peakoil show tonight.

We in the US need to know how other countries are responding to the peak oil issue.

If possible, post bittorrent to "onebigtorrent.org"

Thank you...

-Jim

author by dunk - gardening collectives, dublin / BCNpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 21:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

for 2 years now in dublin and beyon a small group have been adressing the peak oil challenge and have been taken direct action to demonstrate an alternative: attempt to make a CPUL for dublin, a green corridor with a series of local organic food production zones. The model comes from Cuba and is something practical and achievable if people got up and out and got hands dirty and spades into soil....

What did they do in Cuba to survive after peak oil?
They created a series of small local food production zones in cities with local markets sorting out distribution networks, spaces and systems. A decentralised more autonomouse organic low energy method is what came to become the norm, they now have as much food as before just with a tiny fraction of the amounts of energy used in the old days. There are still problems, but it is really something for us to focus on.

That Cuban model inspired an English architect to come up with the idea of the CPUL (continous productive urban landscape): a series of eco threads through cities where food is created and cultivated from for local involvment and consumption. Its a model which can be repeated and built upon, layer after layer.

The model that drives some of us is the successful agricultural revolution that happened in Cuba when they experienced their own "peak oil crisis", due to the fall of the Soviet Bloc back around '91 with the result of a radical new system of food production and distribution throughout the island of Cuba. Without the new method in this "difficult time" millions would have starved. The resulting new model was not one that came from the top down, as was previously the case from the centralised communist government, instead it came from the hungry communities themselves. They did not ask, they simply did....

watch this critical film from cuba
The power of community, how Cuba survived peak oil
http://www.communitysolution.org/cuba.html

related:
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE MOVEMENT
Ted Trainer, University of N.S.W., Australia.
http://socialwork.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/D09TheSigOfTheGE....html
+
Learning from Cuba's Response to Peak Oil
http://youtube.com/watch?v=f7i6roVB5MI

CPUL (continous productive urban landscape)
http://www.walnutbooks.com/product_info.php?products_id=732

Dublin Eco initiaves:

the botanic spine : dublin greenway
http://indymedia.ie/attachments/feb2007/botanic_spine.pdf
http://dublin.ie/botanicspine/
Dublin : first Greenway cycle of 2006
http://indymedia.ie/article/75672

Dolphins barn community garden
http://www.dolphinsbarngarden.org/
Dolphin's Barn community garden under threat
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75438

related imc-ie article:
The politics and reality of the peak oil scare
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/81815

author by wageslavepublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 01:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A whole hour of prime time about how desperately dependent Ireland is on natural gas / petroleum products and how bad the future looks , but no mention of our corrib gas field, our wonderful gas deal and ridiculous licencing terms, any of the other oil/gas prospects, or the history of irish petroleum exploration related decisions.

Typical!

author by bpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 09:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Watched the programme last night.
It contained nothing new, was simplistic, boring and very amateurish.
It was all gloom, gloom and more gloom while stating the bleedin' obvIous.

Cheer up George for Chrissake!

author by Terencepublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All credit to George Lee and his team for the excellent documentary last night.

For someone who would be new to the subject it was very well clear and presented the facts very straight. It was divided up into 3 parts. Part 1, presented the case of our dependency on oil and how dramatically air travel has risen, the number of cars has doubled since 1990 and the fact that we drive 70% per capita than most of Europe, 50% more than UK and even 30% more than the USA. We are one of the most energy intensive countries in the world. He also went on to link this with our urban sprawl. (Courtsey of FF, FG parties, govt and councils over the years). Not content with just that, he went on to show how we import huge amounts of food and showed the link with the trucking of this produce and dependency on cheap oil. In other words that the availability of cheap food from the far corners of the Earth is totally and utterly dependent on cheap oil.

Part 2 covered the facts of depletion and he talked to Colin Campbell, Matt Simmons and some bloke out of IEA who gave the usual line that peak was 30 yrs away. Simmons though gave it straight and said there was a good chance it was already in the past tense (and data presented on production over the last few months on the www.oildrum.com website seems to indicate this). There was also various other people talked to and it was great to see that the big elephant in the room about biofuels was finally put on the table for all to see. And that is there isn't near enough farm land on the Earth to fuel the current global fleet of cars. The tar sands in Canada also got the same treatment where it was pointed out that the costs were rising very steeply and the amount of energy you get out is close to what you get in. Several of those interviewed repeated the message that the era of cheap energy is over and that peak oil is one of the most important issues of our day next to global warming and that it will be a major turning point for all of humanity.

The 3rd and last part of the programme focused on whether we were prepared and what we should do. The message was very very clear. We are not prepared and in advance of peak, we should have been making plans long ago. The point was repeatedly made that we have no time to lose and must act now and it was already very late.

Seeing that we are an island on the edge of Europe, getting fuel and goods to us, will always be more expensive and we are extremely vulnerable to a downturn in the economy, with cascading effects very likely occuring.

There was some mention of gas in relation to electricity which is that 40% of electrical power is from gas and this is projected to rise to 60% and that we import 85% of our gas (from UK). And again as rarely mentioned, they covered the fact that North Sea oil and gas are already in decline as they are now net importers for both and this is projected to rise to 80% imports of gas for the UK by 2020. At this point they interviewed Micheal Meacher former Minister of Environment in UK and he presented the scenario where Britain had not enough gas for it's citizens and industry and suggested the decision an UK politician would have to make about whether to continue sending some of this gas onwards to Ireland at this time would be obvious. They won't. They will look after their own people first.

Towards the end of this part, the case was made that all we have is wind and wave energy and we must develop these and we must massively build up our public transport system. Perhaps now with the Greens in government and they are fully aware of Peak Oil, they might actually be instrumental in saving this country in the face of the non existant planning that has led us into this very unsustainable and dead end situation.

Some various facts thrown up during the programme are that we now use 200,000 barrels of oil a day. Air travel has increased 400% since 1990. We now import 60 billion Euro worth of goods. We have the lowest usage (at 18% of all journeys) for public transport for any capital city in Europe. And lastly it was said very clearly that oil is a one off gift and are usage of it was compared to a drug addict who can't get off it and indeed is in complete denial that we are addicted in the first place.

I would highly recommend getting a copy of this programme for showing again. I would give it 10 out of 10.

author by SteveOpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I found the RTE programme quite mild in fact. History will record (if we are still here) how well we managed our planet. Will our grandchildren inherit our achievements or our failures?

You can download the latest natural oil/gas statistics from http://www.eia.doe.gov/iea/res.html
It is interesting to note accordingly that we have about 30 years of oil left. If it is possible to interchange oil / gas to suit out energy needs then we have about 200 years left. What bugs me is that of all these publically owned PLCs and democratically elected Governments, not one of them has a decent statistical mathematician!! If you read all the disclaimers no one is really is willing to say how much oil / gas we have. I bet the statistical mathematicians employed by the oil companies would get the sack immediately if they did not give a new oil field quote to the nearest pint and get it right!!

At least once the gas/oil run out we will not have to worry about global warming any more! Assuming that is statistically correct? Still, as long as we can still switch on the lights when we choose to.......

Related Link: http://www.eia.doe.gov/iea/res.html
author by bjpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"At least once the gas/oil run out we will not have to worry about global warming any more!
Wrong!
As the oil and gas runs out we will see a major return to coal burning as is happening in China.
This will greatly add to the greenhouse gasses and the subsequent climate disaster.
Our only long-term hope is the successful development of nuclear fusion power plants, sun energy.
This technology is being developed but may be some time away yet.

author by SteveOpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are forgetting one thing.... if there is no oil / gas there will be no fuel for the huge mechanical beasts to mine the coal in the first place. Hence, no global warming. As for fusion, well when the politicians start to invest more than 2 cents per person you may be right. Of course assuming there is enough energy left to power the research?

author by Balthasarpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Poor quality show, as expected. Learned nothing new, except that George Lee does a lot of flying and can afford to drive expensive cars. Was this Lee’s attempt at irony when he told us about what a precious resource oil was, while we were treated to various views of his Mercedes speeding it’s way to Ballydehob at 230g CO2 per km?

What annoys me most about this type of programming is that it provides a blinkered and insular view of the peak oil problem, as is typical of RTE News/Primetime reporting. Peak oil is a global issue and not an Irish one. All economies would be affected regardless of their energy consumption patterns. Even one with no dependence on imported oil as a fuel would be equally affected by a global downturn brought on by a shortage in oil supply.

It’s ridiculous to suggest that existing renewable technologies such as wind and wave power could shield us from the problem. Equally ridiculous is Eamon Ryan’s suggestion that an annual 3% reduction in our consumption would somehow compensate for the annual 3% rate at which oil demand is predicted to exceed supply. It may be the ethical thing to do, but it isn’t a solution

author by Terencepublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 13:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I disagree, it was anything but. You state it was not presented as a global issue. In fact it was, but the programme was largely about Ireland in relation to Peak Oil and was billed as such.

For someone who already knows about Peak Oil, it may not have presented much new, but there are many out there, who are unaware of it, and those are the people the programme was presented for. And for that audience it did an excellent job.

You say:
>All economies would be affected regardless of their energy consumption patterns. Even one with no dependence on imported oil as a fuel would be equally affected by a global downturn ....

That is plainly not true. For example the programme stated that we drive 70% more per capita than Europe. And they have better public transport etc. Clearly those with urban sprawl and thus lots of built-in driving will be affected more. i.e. us.

You also say:
>It’s ridiculous to suggest that existing renewable technologies such as wind and wave power could shield us from the problem.....
The programme never said that. It said that wind and wave power are largely the only renewable energy sources available to us in any significant quantity. It certainly did not make the claim you suggest.

And then you go on about Lee travelling in a Mercedes. What difference does that actually make in the grand scheme? The programme made it very clear that high fuel consumption cars will be a thing of the past... You seemed to be more concerned about being politically correct on this particular point.

author by Mikepublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 15:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ireland has no shortage of Wind power; we could be 100% renewable by 2012, GIVEN THE POLITICAL WILL. The obvious REAL objection is cost; but as we are comitting to spending $350 million on Carbon Credits 2008-2012 (alone); there is a ready source of cash.

The not-so-obvious REAL problem, is that wind power is intermittent and unreliable. Simply put, when you switch on a bulb, the wind may not be blowing, so wind cannot be used, without a storage system.

The simple solution is to build a new turlough-hill style pumped hydro storage system, on top of the Wicklow Mts, a massive, vision-style thing, (like Ardnacrusha or the Hoover Dam were at the time), which can accommodate 100% wind power, absorb it intermittently, and generate it on demand (even better than fossil fuel which HAS to be given out constantly, even when it isnt wanted).

No Nuclear Needed.

Irelands a small country, with huge amounts of wind, both onshore and offshore. More than enough, and scope for plenty more of wave power in the near future, if needed.

But for now, we need to build a massive pumped storage scheme to accommodate this.

After that; planning permission for windmills needs to be expedited (rammed through) as the M3 has been, over the heads of the NIMBYs, except in sites of special importance. And as Wind Power is non-destructive (unlike, say, suburban sprawl), that means most places would open up. We need to fix this, and we need to fix this today, and both sides should sacrifice to make it a reality.

author by Mikepublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 15:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

" All economies would be affected regardless of their energy consumption patterns. Even one with no dependence on imported oil as a fuel would be equally affected by a global downturn brought on by a shortage in oil supply. "

A Country such as Denmark, with 20% Wind power, or Sweden with however much hydro power, So Spain aiming for 30% renewables in the immediate future, will be less affected than Ireland, which has, what? 2-5%? renewables. One fault with the program, was that electrified transport was given a quick sneer. Imagine what an electrified metro system might do for oil consumption in Dublin. Imagine what Electrified Freight distribution by trains might do.

"It’s ridiculous to suggest that existing renewable technologies such as wind and wave power could shield us from the problem."
Ireland has a small population, with more than enough wind and wave power to power us. All we require is the vision to do what we will have to do in the future anyway, but to do it today. The Arklow bank project ALONE was scheduled to give us 10% of our needs.

author by Balthasarpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 15:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Terence,
Re your comment: "there are many out there, who are unaware of it, and those are the people the programme was presented for. And for that audience it did an excellent job"

As you stated earlier that you found the show “excellent”, I deduce from your comment above that you therefore knew nothing about peak oil until last night. Fair enough, I’m glad that you found the show informative and wish you well in your journey of discovery. Personally, I have yet to meet an adult who isn’t aware that oil reserves are finite and that supply will soon run out. If this is the target audience that the show addresses, it represents a new departure in niche programming for RTE - watch out Indymedia!

The show failed to analyse the key point that despite there being widespread knowledge about the problem, there’s no willingness to cut down on consumption. Unwittingly, Lee personified this attitude by his own consumption behaviour during the show. I can only conclude that Lee, like yourself, has “discovered” the peak oil problem very recently!

However, for the rest of us, a proper analysis of potential mitigation strategies would have been more welcome. The glib references in the show to renewable technologies clearly suggested that Ireland’s natural resources could provide an alternative to oil. An analysis of the technologies would have shown that renewable energy as implemented in Ireland does not decrease our oil dependence.

It would help inform the likes of Mike, the last poster, who clearly doesn’t understand why 100% wind power is a scientific impossibility! Also, I’d love to explain why wind turbines in Ireland require oil and gas to operate, and how they produce GHGs (and even nuclear waste), but that’s an argument for another day perhaps. Mike, it’s worth noting that Turlough Hill has a capacity of 292MW while our electrical energy demand in 2012 will be around 7000MW!
Cheers, Balthasar.

author by M Bpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Did not see the programme but could someone tell me if there was a focus on THE elephant on our doorstep, ie the gas reserves along our western seaboard, or was a there a mention at all. The SINDO and Sunday Business Post recently done articles on these reserves, ownership of same and benefits accruing to to our community were not for discussion in the articles, no surprises there. Was wondering if did Georgie boy broke the mould in that respect ? him being with the licensed public broadcaster and all that.

author by plutocracypublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

hi - i saw the programme - again more RTE dribble. yes it was good if you knew nothing - the way george was carrying on it seemed that the infinity of oil was a big revalation to him too! i guess although simplistic, maybe it would hammer home a few points to those (thousands) of folk out there who think nothing of the programmed consumer that they have become (only delighted ikea are coming to town - never would cross their minds of where the wood comes from).
he never mentioned the war in iraq even - global dominace over oil reserves -- but of course why would he - !! that would be too politically scary against the big yanks - this is RTE. scardey cats with the story of oil dumbed down SO much!
my question is - hasnt it already peaked? i know US oil peaked in the 1960's - but global oil reserves had too i thought - is it still denied by government backed scientists?
thanks

author by Mikepublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 17:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"It would help inform the likes of Mike, the last poster, who clearly doesn’t understand why 100% wind power is a scientific impossibility! Also, I’d love to explain why wind turbines in Ireland require oil and gas to operate, and how they produce GHGs (and even nuclear waste), but that’s an argument for another day perhaps."

I'd love to hear your explanations as to why its an impossibility. Of course, you may wish to bring up minor hairsplits, but i see no reason why Wind Power would be unable to produce the vast majority of what we use. I dare say your arguments about Wind Turbines required gas and oil to operate, are as useful as me suggesting that you are referring not to operation, but construction. But in any case; i would welcome your being explicit rather than offhand, so that I would be able to respond to you properly. But perhaps thats what you wish to avoid.

"Mike, it’s worth noting that Turlough Hill has a capacity of 292MW while our electrical energy demand in 2012 will be around 7000MW! "

The figures I was working off, from memory, were 500 and 5000 resp. I'd have to check re: the 500 as to why the difference, perhaps nominal versus actual, but re: the 5000 versus 7000, that I'm sure is because your'e projecting to 2012.

In any case; that makes little difference: Pumped Storage systems in existence, today, include:
Grand Maison (1997), 1,070 MW in France (National total 4520 MW pumped storage)
Goldisthal (2002), 1,060 MW in Germany (Total of 3800 MW)
or for the real deal;
Guangzhou, (2000), 2,400 MW
Tianhuangping (2001), 1,800 MW, Both in China.

Japan has 15,600 MW of pumped storage!
Lithuania alone has Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant, (1993) Designed - 1,600 MW, installed - 900 MW

Its quite possible; bear in mind that NONE of the stations above represent what is possible, they represent what is already installed just to even out conventional power fluctuations. As such, they represent a fraction of what it is possible to create.
--------------

At one point Ardnacrusha was the largest hydro plant in the world.

Something to remember in these days of lack of vision.

I look forward to your explanation of why we cannot use wind power alone. Spain anticipates having 30% of its energy coming from renewables by 2010. Why is Ireland so incompetent?

If you compare with individual regions; youre non-expressed arguments become even weaker:

"Navarra, Europe’s sixth largest producer of wind power, currently sustains approximately 70 percent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources, wind farms being used most extensively, and has a 900-megawatt capacity of installed wind power, ranking it ahead of the UK, Sweden, and France.
Navarra was entirely reliant on imported energy until wind-power development and utilization began progress in 1996. Now, with its own renewable energy companies, such as Navarra Hydroelectric, projects are underway including the proposal of building the biggest offshore wind power production facility in the world in southwestern Spain on the spot of the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar."

author by Mikepublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 17:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Navarra, ....currently sustains approximately 70 percent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources, wind farms being used most extensively, and has a 900-megawatt capacity of installed wind power....Navarra was entirely reliant on imported energy until wind-power development and utilization began progress in 1996....projects are underway including...he biggest offshore wind power production facility in the world....to produce power sufficient for 750,000 homes"

" Spain is already one of Europe's largest producers of wind power, second only to Germany, and its present capacity of 8,500 MW can supply close to 5 % of electricity. Indications are that this may double by 2010. "

Perhaps Balthazar, you might like to explain at length as to why the Irish cant emulate this?

If we even managed to match these existing projects of 8500MW, we already surpass the entire energy requirements you project by 2012. But if we had their projected 17,000 MW by 2010, we could in fact export the power.

Presumably there are scientific reasons why Spain cant produce so much wind power as it does.

Thanks be that the Spanish dont pay much attention, but do it anyway.

" Wind farms based at sea today still have a modest capacity of 600 MW, but this is expected to grow more than ten-fold by 2010, said Corin Millais, director of the European Wind Energy Association. Companies, including utilities, have staked out tracts in the seas off Britain, Denmark, Germany, Ireland and The Netherlands. "
"Should the Trafalgar plans fail, then offshore parks may go elsewhere, given the Spaniards' hunger for wind profits. "There are dozens of projects waiting for licenses, on land and offshore," said Bustos, "enough to produce another 50,000 MW." http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/nte50422.htm

author by Mikepublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 17:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Research concerning the production of hydrogen from the use of water by a wind farm is occurring at a newly installed laboratory in the Universidad Pública de Navarra under an agreement between Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra, Stuart Energy Systems of Canada, and Statkraft of Norway.[10] The lab will replicate the power generation environment of a wind farm and examine the effects of an electrolyzer.[10] “An initial phase of the experiment will utilize a budget of 180,000 euro, with later phases evaluating the use of hydrogen in public buses in the city of Pamplona, and a wind turbine designed specifically for hydrogen production”[10]."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Spain

So much for the "we cant" "its impossible" lobby!

author by Terencepublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 19:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

> I deduce from your comment above that you therefore knew nothing about peak oil until last night
Your assumption is incorrect.

If you had read my response it said:
>For someone who already knows about Peak Oil, it may not have presented much new, but there are many out there, who are unaware of it, and those are the people the programme was presented for. And for that audience it did an excellent job.

You also say:
>The show failed to analyse the key point that despite there being widespread knowledge about the problem, there’s no willingness to cut down on consumption.

.. I would be of the opinion that knowledge is not widespread yet, but programmes like that will help. Same as was done for global warming. As for no willingness to cut back, I agree, but no-one is going to make the move, unless they see some kind of institutionalized framework that prevents others from using up resources that one chooses to use less of.

In other words, we first need widespread awareness, followed by realization it is a problem and then followed by the sense that we must do something. During this timeframe, a cultural shift is needed which basically makes its unacceptable to waste energy, followed by political action. Of course for both global warming and peak oil, we should have collectively as a global society being doing something about it at least 20 if not 30 years ago. In fact one could go back all the day to the Club of Rome reports, which basically outlined the fact that resource constraints and a pollution crisis would hit if the endless growth model continued which it has.

author by wageslavepublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 03:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My favourite politics / oil / peak oil related program!!!

robert newmans history of oil. very funny! mildly informative too.

For those of you who dislike doom and gloom but appreciate humour, it's a must see!!

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.indiv...80557

author by Terencepublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 18:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you follow the link below, you can find a link to watch the RTE documentary on Peak Oil from Monday night.

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/tv/futureshock/endoftheoilage.html
author by Geologist - Realist and environmentalistpublication date Sat Jun 23, 2007 17:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Peak oil and other forms of energy
The Peak Oil programme was good but allowed an inaccurate comment to slip in at the end of the programme, where someone stated that "uranium would run out in 20 years". This is an oft-quoted white lie, presumably emanating from the Greens! There is a lot more uranium around and it really does fill the bill for energy requirement and most importantly - IT DOES NOT CREATE GREENHOUSE GASES!
It would be a good idea if everybody took a little time to get informed on the subject of future energy.
1/ Coal "ran out" because petroleum was discovered and the petrol engine was more efficient than the steam engine. There is plenty left, but it is mainly used for power generation. Not many steam engines around these days...
2/ Guess who is the World's third biggest user of nuclear powered electricity? Sweden at 50% with 10 nuclear reactors and that's for a population of 10 million, so Ireland could use 4 reactors. And we hear the Greens using Sweden as a model...! France is no. 1 with 80%, nuclear electricity generation, Belgium is second. The US and Canada are quite low with only about 20% nuclear power.
3/ Uranium will not run out for a very long time. Plenty of reserves for 20 years already in production. Enough for 85 years with known but unworked deposits. Enough for 2500 years if fast-breeder reactors are used more than they are.
4/ Guess where the biggest European reserves or uranium are? Right again! in Sweden!!! There is a geological formation called the Alum shales (which also contain a waxy oil called kerogen) and they run almost half the length of Sweden. It is 5 to 100 m thick and contains low-grade but easily extractable uranium. These are not included in the reserve calculations yet.
5/ Wind power. What happens if we were fully dependent on wind power and got one or two weeks of calm weather? Dell, Intel and Microsoft close down? And if it happens in November (remenber those fogs and no wind?) we would have no home heating either and some of you would be very unhappy. Not me, as I am used to cold!
6/ Wave power? Where? Can anybody tell me where to go to see a wave power station?
7/ Peak oil: Oil will not run out for a long time, but will just get scarcer and scarcer, so the price will riseand rise - a lot!. You can't run an aeroplane on electricity so petroleum is essential for air travel. You can use coal, oil, gas, wind power and nuclear to power a ship; cars and trains can run on electricity, so why are we using petroleum and gas for electricity generation?
8/ Somebody mentioned pumped storage. Where to site a new station? Have a look at the ESB's figures for power output from its stations. Turlough Hill is only a small contributor. Moneypoint (coal) and Poolbeg (oil/gas) are the big ones making up nearly 50% of our electricity needs.
9/ When will oil peak? Estimates range from 2015 to 2040, depending on how the accountancy is done, and those estimates come from a report that was compiled BEFORE the Chinese economy took off. Incidentally, China uses only 3% nuclear.

The George Lee programme might have been somewhat boring, as economics tends to be, but it was fairly correct. The only inaccuracy was the guy from Dundalk stating that uranium would run out. I checked his credentials - he is involved with wind power companies, and they are getting big subsidies these days from us, the tax-payers? Why? Because wind power is actually uneconomical, otherwise you wouldn't need subsidies!

Get real.

Related Link: http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2006/uranium_resources.html
author by black man raypublication date Sat Jun 23, 2007 20:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Because wind power is actually uneconomical, otherwise you wouldn't need subsidies!"

The subsidies are in place in an effort to make green energies like wave, wind and geothermal so that they WILL BECOME economically viable. Nuclear DOES produce CO2 in ore extraction techniques which require guess what .. lots of oil!

Wave technology is relatively new and modern designs are quite efficient with small wave generators providing up to 5000KW. A number of these small units along a coastline would produce sufficient power for a population of 30,000 people including industries. Combine this with Wind and a country like Ireland could become self sufficient very easily but this wont happen while the oil and Nuclear lobbies are in such strong favour with Government.

Nuclear is certainly better than coal/oil but is it really the answer?

Related Link: http://www.wavegen.co.uk/what_we_offer_limpet_islay.htm
author by Nuke powerpublication date Sun Jun 24, 2007 23:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The reason we don't like nuclear is simple.
WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE WASTE?

what you say about CO2 is simply wrong and I suspect, intentionally misleading.

FACT
You liberate large amounts of CO2 when you make large concrete and steel structures such as those used in nuclear reactors.
http://www.ghgonline.org/co2industry.htm
FACT
uranium mining is very CO2 intensive
http://www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-ene...n.htm
quote
"While electricity generated from nuclear power does not directly emit carbon dioxide (CO2), the nuclear fuel cycle does release CO2 during mining, fuel enrichment and plant construction. Uranium mining is one of the most CO2 intensive industrial operations and as demand for uranium grows because of new electricity generation and new plant construction, CO2 levels will also rise.

In a case study in Germany, the Oko-Institute determined that 34 grams of CO2 are emitted per generated kilowatt (kWh). Other international research studies show much higher figures (up to 60 grams of CO2 per kWh). In comparison to renewable energy, energy generated from nuclear power releases 4-5 times more CO2 per unit of energy produced, taking into account the entire nuclear fuel cycle.
"

Over the life cycle of a nuclear station some estimates come out at around 75% of an equivalent coal fired station in terms of total CO2 output taking every part of the process into consideration.

Uranium mining is a messy energy intensive business which uses lots of fossil fuel.

By products of nuclear energy production are used in weapons.

Uranium WILL run out at some point.

Greedy fallible humans cannot be trusted to safeguard nuclear waste. And the laws of physics are very unforgiving.

France are always cited as a great example but they have their issues too.
For example this one.Not reported much but during the heatwave, they were 2 degrees from quite a serious problem.

http://www.underreported.com/modules.php?op=modload&nam...old=0

In theory in a perfect world with perfect environmental stability run by perfect caring people, Nuclear power, if using the latest safest technology and perfecttly designed flawless systems put in place to deal with any emergency and of course equally perfectly designed, logical and environmentally driven waste management systems put in place to last 100,000 years without any problem, would probably be worth "debating".

this is the real world:
http://www.nonukes.org/r01usnuc.htm
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/031200-01.htm
http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/NUCSAF/HCleanup.shtml

But we all know that this is not a perfect world and nuclear plants would be run by greedy (possibly incompetent ) vested interests cutting corners to make more profit and externalising the waste problem on the local community or the third world to maximise profit. You only have to look at the US experience to see that the reality of dealing with nuclear waste issues is so much more disappointing than the dream.

I quote from one of the articles linked to above:
"Unfortunately, the American government has become a machine for the conversion of public assets into private profits, and a big machine for the conversion of private liabilities into public liabilities. The problem of nuclear waste is a very good illustration of the second feature"

That is the reality of nuclear power

and THAT is why I am against nuclear power.

Because humans are humans and they are pretty nasty pathetic self centred and incompetent creatures and when they see a profit it really brings out the worst in them and as such they cannot be left in charge of anything where they can find an angle without fucking it up in the longer term.

capitalism:
"The absurd notion that the most ruthless of men doing the most abhorrent things can bring the most good to the most people"

Nuclear energy is just another technology. not good or bad but with a particularly devastating potential to cause harm if not handled properly. Humans will not handle it properly.

In that perfect world I mentioned (which is a pre-requisite for discussing nuclear power), I'd consider a pebble bed reactor as a good source of power. However this certainly aint a perfect world. not by a long way.

We live in the real world, so personally I really don't want to rely on greedy corporate sociopaths to protect us and our children, for thousands of years, from the rather unforgiving nature of the laws of physics

interesting links:
http://www.nonukes.org/ngl.htm
http://www.sea-us.org.au/wastenot.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_waste
http://library.thinkquest.org/3471/nuclear_waste_body.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_modular_reactor

author by Dan Hayes - ULpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 20:43author email danieljohnhayes at gmail dot comauthor address author phone 061202631Report this post to the editors

Hi,

I got two more letters published in the papers today. They comment on the Future Shock oil documentary but also on the potential for Poolbeg. The Examiner one also references Colin Campbell's article in the paper on June 20. Hopefully people will take notice! Dan

Irish Independent

Monday June 25 2007

“No need for gloom over oil”

THE 'Future Shock' programme shown on RTE 1 last Monday night highlighted the imminence of peak oil and the drastic effects it could have on our lives. It was an excellent, thought-provoking show but it left a distinctly gloomy tone by the end.

The alternatives to oil were touched upon but generally dismissed as insufficient for maintaining our current standard of living. That need not be the case. Firstly, much electricity can be sourced from wind and wave power although these can be unpredictable. Few people, however, consider our most consistent potential source of renewable electricity - the Gulf Stream. Researchers at the University of Limerick are working on utilising that tremendous resource.

The documentary reminded us, however, that electricity cannot supply our demand for the consumable products and liquid fuels currently made from oil. UL researchers have been working for some time on obtaining oil-type substances, with uses far beyond transport fuel, from carbohydrate-containing organic materials.

The assumption provided by the documentary that there is not enough landmass on the planet to fuel global fuel requirements was based on the growing of high-input food crops and utilising unsophisticated technologies. There are, however, new technologies that can provide us with ethanol from cheap, highly productive biomass for about €2.5 a gallon at this time, and possibly €1.3 per gallon in five years.

We could meet our petrol biofuel requirements for 2010 just by utilising, in a biorefinery, the municipal waste destined for incineration in Poolbeg. A similar amount could come from processing the 400,000 tonnes of waste paper that is currently shipped each year to China and burned there.

There is no need for gloom in Ireland. The post-oil economy need not shrink, as predicted by the programme. Instead we could soon see an oil-free Ireland based on biomass, maximal utilisation of wastes, and cheap renewable energy.

Daniel J Hayes
IRCSET Research Student
Chemical and Environmental Sciences
University of Limerick

...
Irish Examiner

Monday 25 June 2007

“Peak oil: Gulf Stream may be the answer”

I AGREE with Colin Campbell’s view (Irish Examiner, June 20) that a lot can be done to combat the demise of peak oil.

For example, because Ireland is on the westerly edge of Europe, we have a unique potential for maximising electricity production from renewable energy. Winds, particularly offshore, can be stronger and more consistent than elsewhere in Europe and there is also a major role for wave power.

However, our most consistent potential source of renewable electricity is the Gulf Stream.

Researchers at the University of Limerick are working on utilising this tremendous resource.

However, the excellent ‘Future Shock’ documentary shown on RTÉ 1 (June 18) reminded us that electricity cannot supply our demand for consumer products and liquid fuels currently made from oil.

We have been working for some time at the University of Limerick on obtaining oil-type substances, with uses far beyond transport fuels, from lignocellulose in wastes and plant matter.

Much of our needs could be satisfied without utilising any extra land by, for example, converting landfill waste to platform chemicals.

We should exploit the advantages of this island to show the world that peak oil is an opportunity, not a dead end.

Daniel J Hayes
IRCSET Research Student
Chemical and Environmental
Sciences
University of Limerick

...

author by Dan Hayes - ULpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 20:49author email danieljohnhayes at gmail dot comauthor address author phone 061202631Report this post to the editors

Hi,

I got two letters published in the Irish papers today. They are included below. I have also posted this on the Poolbeg thread because there is a huge potential with that "waste". btw if "SimHurrrll" is reading this, please get in touch with me, you seem to know a lot about the waste sector and I would appreciate learning from you.
Cheers
Dan

Irish Independent

Monday June 25 2007

“No need for gloom over oil”

THE 'Future Shock' programme shown on RTE 1 last Monday night highlighted the imminence of peak oil and the drastic effects it could have on our lives. It was an excellent, thought-provoking show but it left a distinctly gloomy tone by the end.

The alternatives to oil were touched upon but generally dismissed as insufficient for maintaining our current standard of living. That need not be the case. Firstly, much electricity can be sourced from wind and wave power although these can be unpredictable. Few people, however, consider our most consistent potential source of renewable electricity - the Gulf Stream. Researchers at the University of Limerick are working on utilising that tremendous resource.

The documentary reminded us, however, that electricity cannot supply our demand for the consumable products and liquid fuels currently made from oil. UL researchers have been working for some time on obtaining oil-type substances, with uses far beyond transport fuel, from carbohydrate-containing organic materials.

The assumption provided by the documentary that there is not enough landmass on the planet to fuel global fuel requirements was based on the growing of high-input food crops and utilising unsophisticated technologies. There are, however, new technologies that can provide us with ethanol from cheap, highly productive biomass for about €2.5 a gallon at this time, and possibly €1.3 per gallon in five years.

We could meet our petrol biofuel requirements for 2010 just by utilising, in a biorefinery, the municipal waste destined for incineration in Poolbeg. A similar amount could come from processing the 400,000 tonnes of waste paper that is currently shipped each year to China and burned there.

There is no need for gloom in Ireland. The post-oil economy need not shrink, as predicted by the programme. Instead we could soon see an oil-free Ireland based on biomass, maximal utilisation of wastes, and cheap renewable energy.

Daniel J Hayes
IRCSET Research Student
Chemical and Environmental Sciences
University of Limerick

...
Irish Examiner

Monday 25 June 2007

“Peak oil: Gulf Stream may be the answer”

I AGREE with Colin Campbell’s view (Irish Examiner, June 20) that a lot can be done to combat the demise of peak oil.

For example, because Ireland is on the westerly edge of Europe, we have a unique potential for maximising electricity production from renewable energy. Winds, particularly offshore, can be stronger and more consistent than elsewhere in Europe and there is also a major role for wave power.

However, our most consistent potential source of renewable electricity is the Gulf Stream.

Researchers at the University of Limerick are working on utilising this tremendous resource.

However, the excellent ‘Future Shock’ documentary shown on RTÉ 1 (June 18) reminded us that electricity cannot supply our demand for consumer products and liquid fuels currently made from oil.

We have been working for some time at the University of Limerick on obtaining oil-type substances, with uses far beyond transport fuels, from lignocellulose in wastes and plant matter.

Much of our needs could be satisfied without utilising any extra land by, for example, converting landfill waste to platform chemicals.

We should exploit the advantages of this island to show the world that peak oil is an opportunity, not a dead end.

Daniel J Hayes
IRCSET Research Student
Chemical and Environmental
Sciences
University of Limerick

...

author by Balthasarpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 21:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Daniel, could you provide information on how UL propose to harness the energy in the gulf stream? Thanks.

author by bpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 21:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A positive note - well said Dan.
Never underestimate human resourcefulness / divine providence / call it what you want.
We need more hope and less pessimism.
I, for one, am very hopeful about the future.

author by Dan Hayespublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 22:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

balthasar, ill get back to you on that. This is not stuff i am doing myself (i'm doing a phd on biorefineries/biofuels etc) but I know the people involved. It basically involves large tethered underwater turbines.

b thanks for that. I don;t like the argument that the only solution is for us to go back in time and live less advanced (and therefore in my opinion less fulfilling) lives. i think cheap airtravel is a wonderful thing and really adds to peoples lives, it certianly has mine! I think it is better to be proactive in finding technological solutions than just banning stuff. Of course unnecceary waste should be minimised and what there is should be utilised effectively.

author by dan hayespublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 22:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

for a little on the gulf stream go here
http://www.eboroil.com/investments.html
and look at eborpower

author by Recyclettapublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See the incineration threads and controversy about your calculations. You need to up date your numbers

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