Energy is one of the major topics for this century. In this post, Matt talks through the energy potential of hydrocarbons and how our reliance on maintaining existing infrastructures is stopping progression in newer, renewable resources.
We have been assuming a very low cost and virtually limitless supply of energy principally based on non-renewable hydrocarbons. In the early days, oil was extracted with ease. Every one barrel of oil expended would deliver 50 to 100 barrels, these days it takes one barrel of oil to deliver five.
The growing consensus is that we have gone beyond peak oil. The extremes of deep water extraction and the destruction of the landscape in order to extract from the tar sands show an increasingly desperate search. Currently, one barrel of oil is found for every four used.
It looks like large scale fracking of shale gas and perhaps shale oil is coming to the UK and many parts of the world just in time to maintain supply of hydrocarbon energy for a few more years, but to what end?
Energy, a human perspective
In the UK, the average energy we use in the house, workplace, being a consumer, travel etc. is approximately 125KWh/day. This would be enough to keep 52 100W light bulbs glowing all day.
A barrel of oil contains about 1.7MWh of energy which would keep some 708 100Watt light bulbs glowing all day.
Posted by PDD
Languages spoken: Global.
The last thing that inspired me: Design and Innovation.
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Image credit Featured image credit: Remsol, all other images: PDD