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Monday, March 22, 2010

UK government's 'new sense of urgency' over peak oil

British ministers are today meeting industry leaders to talk about peak oil, according to a report published in the UK left-of-centre Guardian newspaper. It states:

In a significant policy shift, the government has agreed to undertake more
work on whether the UK needs to take action to avoid the massive dislocation
that could be caused by the early onset of "peak oil" – the point that marks the
start of terminal decline in global oil production.

Jeremy Leggett, the executive chairman of the renewable power company
Solar Century and a leading figure in the UK industry taskforce on peak oil and
energy security, said the meeting, to be held at the Energy Institute, showed a
welcome new sense of urgency.

"Government has gone from the BP position – '40 years of supply left,
the price mechanism works, no need to worry' – to 'crikey'," he said. "BP and
others are telling us that, but you lot, Virgin, Scottish and Southern, and
others are telling us something completely different. We do not know who to
believe. Let's do a proper risk assessment with industry," he said
It seems to follow on from media coverage of two recent issues:

The provocative report issued in February by the UK industry taskforce on peak oil and energy security, The Oil Crunch: a Wake-up Call for the UK Economy, in which it warned of the dangers of complacency.

And the November 2009 reports that the International Energy Agency was not being truthful about the amount of oil still available. Again from the Guardian, at the time:
The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit,
according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it
has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering
panic buying.

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