Hot off the press! Foreign Policy Magazine (July –August 2012) just published a survey of 50 of the world’s energy and environmental experts concerning their views on energy consumption in 2030. Wow. I will be over a hundred. Look what I have to look forward to.
Introducing the survey, FP Magazine indicated that crude oil production in March of 2012 was 20 percent higher than it was on average in 2008 and that shale gas has grown from two percent of natural gas supply to 37 percent. The experts predicted that by 2030, oil consumption of total U.S. energy consumption would be reduced to 25.8 percent from 36 percent. The experts also opined that natural gas consumption would increase to 31.1 percent from 26 percent. Interestingly, nearly 75 percent of the experts felt that environmental issues could be managed “so that shale gas production can continue on its growth track.”
I know some of the experts listed by FP and they do have impressive resumes. Surveys like this, however, don’t tell us much definitively. Aggregation of experts suggests that everyone is equal and up-to-date concerning specific knowledge and experience. FP’s list is a disparate one and Over a Barrel doesn’t have access to the survey’s methodology.
But, when varied experts back up most independent analyses, it does buttress the case that we may be seeing a paradigm shift concerning the use of alternative fuels and the expansion of choice for end users. For example, as readers know from earlier Over a Barrel blog posts, recent studies by MIT and IEA predict a significant increase in natural gas production and consumption. The IEA study indicated that we could well be entering into a ‘golden age’ of gas.
Just an additional thought, Over the Barrel believes that if the oil market, particularly for transportation in the U.S, is made competitive, the natural gas consumption numbers will grow in a meaningful way. More on this in upcoming blogs. Add an open fuels market for methanol, ethanol, natural gas and batteries, etc., along with an increase in the production of flex fuel automobiles, and we would be well on our way to democracy in choice of fuels and lower gas costs. Who could be against that?