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Daily Archives: August 3, 2009
‘Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast‘ ran The Independent’s front page today. The story cites an interview with IEA chief economist Fatih Birol about a looming ‘catastrophic energy crunch’.
Much of the interview covers fairly familiar ground. Birol has warned about the fall in investment in future supply since the IEA’s 2008 World Energy Outlook in November, although the agency toned down its concerns down in June’s medium-term outlook. The estimates for the rate of production decline were also discussed last November.
The main new line is:
“…Dr Birol said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years – at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.
So, is the IEA now saying global production will peak well before 2030? This would be quite a turnround. Read more
Italy’s utility Enel and Electricité de France have formally announced their joint venture to look at building four new nuclear plants in Italy, more than two decades after the country voted against new nuclear power:
The new venture, known as Sviluppo Nucleare Italia, will be based in Rome and follows the signing of an agreement between the heads of government of the two countries in February to restart nuclear power production in Italy.
Fulvio Conti, Enel’s chief executive, said the venture “lays the ground for a concrete comeback of the nuclear [industry] in Italy”.
Nissan showed off its new mass-market electric car, the Leaf, in Yokohama with much fanfare (that picture on the left has Carlos Ghosn, the head of the Renault-Nissan alliance, in the drivers’ seat and former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi beside him).
But capturing the audience it seeks is mainly about price, which the company has firmly in its sights:
Nissan has not set a price for the Leaf but said on Sunday its cost would be “competitive” with “well-equipped” petrol-powered cars in the same class. The price will not include the battery, however, which drivers will lease separately from the carmaker.
For pure electric cars, batteries are a major cost – Ghosn stressed that the Leaf will cost the same to buy and run as an equivalent petrol-fuelled car, but the company is planning to achieve this in part by leasing out the $10,000 batteries. Read more
Oil trades near one-month high on speculation demand to recover
Oil may rise to $80 a barrel by the end of the year (Bloomberg)