Peak Oil and growth : the challenges and opportunities posed by the finite character of the fossil fuels to the world economic order / von Daniel Olev
VerfasserOlev, Daniel
Begutachter / BegutachterinHaas, Reinhard
UmfangX, 85 Bl. : Ill., zahlr. graph. Darst.
HochschulschriftWien, Techn. Univ., Master Thesis, 2012
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubtuw:1-61576 Persistent Identifier (URN)
 Das Werk ist frei verfügbar
Peak Oil and growth [3.14 mb]
Zusammenfassung (Englisch)

In this work I have tried to demonstrate the fundamental difficulties our society faces as we are confronted by the imperative to transition our economy to low carbon future. I have specifically concentrated on the energy component of the economy as a creation source behind the production of goods and services. Oil in particular is on the top of the list in the table of primary energy providers as "enabling" and "connecting" fuel due to its universality in the use of the internal combustion engines designed to drive our machinery around the globe. Given the finite nature of fossil deposits in the core of our planet and more or less accepted in scientific community fact that we have reached the maximum extraction rates of easy to find, produce and refine oil, as well as taking on board the fact that it is almost for certain that continuous usage of carbohydrates as a main source of energy can irrevocably destroy the fine natural balance of gases in our atmosphere I have tried to show the list of the open questions and the scope of the problems, faced by our civilization in efforts to address them. Particular attention was paid to energy balance, also known as energy return on energy invested (EROEI or EROI), which determines net energy available for the society to use at its discretion. Albeit not a new idea - the concept does back 50 years and could be found in the works of economist Kenneth Boulding and ecologist Howard Odum, it was finally formulated in the works of economist Cutler J. Cleveland and professor Charles J Hall (Murphy & Hall, 2010). Although of a great importance in understanding and evaluating current and prospective technologies, very little data and scientific work exists up to now on correct accounting procedures for determining EROIE and its boundaries. This fact is changing now, in part thanks to realization from holistic school of economics that the travel down right side of the Hubbert curve will have to use different system of coordinates in comparison with left, ascending side.