The end of the fossil fuel era may end with a whimper, not a bang -- just with lines for gasoline that are too long. Consider these two pieces of unsettling data:
(1) The number of cars on the road globally will hit 1 billion by 2011.
(2) The world's oil will peak by 2015, according to the CEO of Shell.
The latest on the world's massive car growth is from R. L. Polk & Company, the well-known provider of auto stats and trends. :
The heavy growth will be fueled primarily by the rapidly expanding Asian market, which will see 5.7 percent compound annual growth in vehicles in operation (VIO) in the next three years.
Asia will account for more than 23 percent (231 million vehicles) of global VIO by 2011. Europe and the Americas will account for 34 percent and 36 percent of global VIO by 2011, respectively
Traditional markets -- the Americas and Western Europe -- will continue to see approximately 1.3 percent and 2.0 percent compound annual growth respectively, in the next three years.
All those new cars, all those new emissions, all that need for fuel from somewhere.
Probably not from Big Oil. Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veerjust has let it slip that in seven years, world demand for oil will outstrip supply. That means peak oil by 2015. :
Jeroen van der Veer, Shell’s chief executive, said in an e-mail to the company’s staff this week that output of conventional oil and gas was close to peaking. He wrote: “Shell estimates that after 2015 supplies of easy-to-access oil and gas will no longer keep up with demand.”
Anyone up for Fred Flintstone lessons?