Peak Oil: Misconceptions, False Solutions, and Real Opportunities

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Robert Rapier, Chief Technology Officer for Merica International, a bioenergy holding company, was recently interviewed as a follow-up to his presentation on Peak Oil at the Global Footprint Conference in Siena, Italy.

He does a great job of addressing some of the misconceptions/myths about Peak Oil as well as potential solutions to it, so I thought I’d share it here.

In Rapier’s own words, the following is some of what he covers in the interview above.

  • The misconception that Peak Oil means we are running out of oil
  • The idea that oil will be very difficult to replace, and impossible to replace solely with biomass
  • The danger posed by false solutions (which I denoted the ‘fake fire brigade‘ in my presentation)
  • The difficulty the developing world will have in attaining a ‘First World‘ standard of living
  • What will happen if oil peaks soon and declines rapidly
  • The reasons for the rise in oil prices over the past decade
  • That we are now comfortable with $80 oil — and why that is dangerous
  • The fact that some “renewable energy” is mostly embedded fossil energy
  • The reason I prefer thermochemical technologies over biochemical technologies
  • The types of projects that my company is working on; primarily energy projects that can be operated on low fossil fuel inputs and ideally off the grid (i.e., projects that could provide meaningful energy in a world in which oil supplies are declining)
  • Rapier also clarifies some of his statements and adds some info on the issues and on the interview via his own blog, R-Squared.


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    Zachary Shahan

    Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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