At the meeting, Dr. Charles Forsberg (formerly of ORNL and now with MIT), presented a fascinating analysis of the challenge associated with harmonizing the time-dependent dynamics U.S. electricity production and the time-dependent electricity demand. Charles proposes a large-scale nuclear-geothermal energy production and geological storage approach that is really interesting (more about this in a future post as well).
But one of the elements of Charles' presentation that really grabbed my attention was his analysis of the vulnerability of the U.S. petroleum supply. I want to draw your attention to it as well.
If you want (another) reason to ring your hands over our energy dependency and the un-sustainable vector we are on, take a look at this:
The data there, based on information from The Oil and Gas Journal, Sept. 15, 2010 demonstrates the absolute control a handful of nations have over the world's oil supply.
Here's the bottom-line: the total equivalent reserves of the top four oil companies/nations (~936 Billion equivalent barrels) exceeds the COMBINED reserves of the next 46 companies (~ 846 Billion equivalent barrels by my count).
Who are these "four horseman" of the fossil fuel world?
Where does Exxon Mobile rank? Exxon comes in at #14 with only 15 Billion barrels.
BP you ask? BP just manages to reach #18 on the list with only 13 Billion barrels.
Just for comparison, the U.S. Energy Information Agency @ ( http://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=oil_home#tab2 ) indicates the U.S. consumed just under 19 million barrels of oil per day in 2009, importing just under 10 million barrels per day – just over 50% of our daily oil consumption.
That's not sustainable...