Energy crisis could threaten global economic recovery, IEA says – The Globe and Mail

Eugene Van Den Berg, Oct 2021

From the above article Reuters and The Globe and Mail states:

“A global energy crunch is expected to boost oil demand by 500,000 barrels a day and could stoke inflation and slow the world’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recovery from the pandemic was “unsustainable” and revolved too much on fossil fuels. Investment in renewable energy needs to triple by the end of the decade if the world hopes to effectively fight climate change”

The article lacks expression about the true origins of the crisis. Since 2015 investment in oil and gas exploration declined sharply. That has led to an energy imbalance with demand exceeding supply.

Since the end of the first decade of the 2000s, climate activism and policy contributed to shutting in reliable electricity generation. The world is trying to take a short cut from coal, skip natural gas, and instantly land on utopia where solar and wind energy is the primary source to support base load, or worse even, as is the case with Germany, ditching nuclear for wind and solar. It did not quite work out as planned and Germany now is looking into the eyes of Russia to fall back on natural gas.

BIG MISTAKE! To have believed that natural gas and LNG are not a suitable replacements for coal fired powerstations.

Since April 2020 a commodity supercycle is unfolding. Growth in demand for commodities fuel the thirst for oil. That is because processing commodities rely on heavily industrial equipment and processes that drive the thirst for oil. Renewable Energy (RE) policy shifts too contribute to the rising demand for critical commodities used in RE component parts. On top of all this supply chain challenges are contributing to imbalances.

Without policy changes aimed at duality, and remaining stuck on policy that only supports ideology will not solve matters but instead grinding the crisis even deeper. The world cannot transition in a cost effective fashion without oil and gas. That view has nothing to do with climate denialism, it’s all to do with reality. Energy is mankind’s siamese twin. It’s inseparable, the two goes together like a horse and carriage. Energy sustain quality of life.

The challenge is up to solve RE reliability and storage. Without it net-zero looks pale.

When the world transitioned from horse and carriage to car over an approx. 50 year period, the world transitioned leveraging duality and transitioned to an energy source in unlimited supply. The notion that the wind and sun also provide unlimited, and even better, free, energy sources are true. The reality is the technology to make effective use of such free resources are lacking technological realibility and effective storage backup efficiency. Billions of dollars can be invested in more RE wind and solar over the next decade. If however investment is purely driven by constructing large energy farms and hoping that it will solve the problem, it is not likely going to achieve the desired outcome.

Wind and solar respectively yield approx. 17% and 25% of installed capacity. Quick math suggest to go all out wind and solar require 4x to 5x the amount of installed capacity that is required to get close to 100% yield of needed-installed capacity.

To support projected electricity demand to power a world driven by electric only energy would mean that the projected demand needs to converted to generation capacity and take that number and times it by 5 and from there configure the required generation and storage capabilities.

The Interstellar effect, as I call it. In the movie, for years mankind could not solve the math around defeating gravity on a cost effective basis. That illustrates that nothing gets solved doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

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Eugene Van Den Berg

Eugene is an accomplished Analyst, Accountant, Controller, CFO, and Corporate Finance expert with many years of diverse finance and accounting experience across different industries. He is a knowledge- and information worker with a passion to solve complex financial management problems and processes. Eugene is passionate about finance and economics and enjoys blogging about interesting economic aspects of current times