Can we replace oil and maintain energy supply?
Can we simply switch out oil for other fuels? No:
The question is: can production from non-conventional sources such as the Alberta tar sands or synthetic fuels using coal-to-liquids (CTL) technology be ramped up to anything even approaching a supply deficit of 22 million barrels per day by 2015?
The answer appears to be a clear no.
Not by a long shot.
So what’s the answer?
Rather than focusing only on what I see as futile and costly attempts to continue to grow the supply of liquid fuels, efforts must be redirected to the demand side:
- efficiency (doing more with less); conservation (just doing less);
- designing compact, walkable urban communities;
- emphasizing public transit including electric light rail;
- switching to biofuels and other renewable energy sources;
- relocalising organic food production, and so on