I’ve just been introduced to http://www.worldometers.info/ “a really interesting website with live world statistics on population, government and economics, society and media, environment, food, water, energy and health. Interesting statistics with world population clock, forest loss this year, carbon dioxide co2 emission, world hunger data, energy consumed, and a lot more”.
According to Worldometers, oil only has 15,364 days left. That’s 42 years.
That means anyone aged 50 or less has a reasonable chance of outliving oil reserves and seeing a vast amount of change in the world in the coming years.
How old will you be when oil runs out?
I don’t know exactly how accurate the statistics are or the science behind oil exploration but with all the technology that exists I imagine ‘we’ have a pretty good idea of what resources are left which probably also includes potential future finds.
So if 42 years is a realistic figure (give or take a few years) then huge change must happen; some change is already happening and there are bound to be some problems along the way.
I’m not in the oil industry and although I work in financial services I don’t know how reliant any economy is on oil but because oil reserves are running out oil companies need to change direction and they are already investing heavily into alternatives.
At some point in the very near future (prob from 2011 onwards – yes, that soon) we will start to see electric charging points popping up in services and other strategic locations (not sure about near petrol pumps though – mixing electricity and petrol supply in one location?).
Electric cars are about to explode onto the market with almost every manufacturer developing hybrid and full electric vehicles (this is one aspect of the future I’m really looking forward to. I will be part of the generation who own 1st generation electric vehicles – can’t wait for my first electric motorbike!).
But who will run the the charging points? Will we see petrol station forecourts turning into charging stations and instead of Shell and BP we’ll see names like npower, eon or Southern Electric?
And if the juice is supplied by electricity companies then oil companies will surely shrink into shadows of their former selves just supplying certain niche industries?
Or will the oil companies develop their own infrastructures to supply power they generate to their charging points?
Will oil companies generate their own power and then rent established infrastructure from electricity providers?
Will the existing infrastructure be able to cope with future demand? I somehow doubt it.
Will familiar pylons be replaced by futuristic space-age alternatives that make everywhere look like a set from Buck Rogers?
Will home generators become more popular and wipe out large chunks of electricity suppliers revenue?
What will governments do to replace fuel taxes?
So many issues to address and only 42 years to do it.