A sustainable energy checklist for green communities

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

From a brief guide published by Focus on Energy:

Cities and towns across Wisconsin are seeking ways to address concerns about global climate change while improving the environment and their local quality of life.

Environmentally-friendly or “green” options for communities have long included programs to encourage recycling and the purchase of recycled products, improving public transportation and developing new zoning ordinances that reduce urban sprawl.

Recently, many communities have begun to seek strategies for achieving carbon reduction goals as a way of becoming greener. Because fossil energy use is the primary source of carbon emissions, communities are turning to energy efficiency and
renewable energy to make their energy production and use more sustainable.

The guide answers the following questions:

Monthly meeting, July 2

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Madison Peak Oil Group will meet for one hour beginning at noon on July 2 in the lower level conference room at 222 S. Hamilton St.

We have plenty to discuss:

+ Madison bus station and related issues, including long range transportation planning
+ Outreach events
Alternative Vehicle Festival (formerly Hybridfest)
Willy Street Fair
Ride the Drive
+ DOT’s 2030 planning
+ Anything else that comes to mind

Everyone is welcome to the one-hour brown-bag meeting.

Rural and Urban Economic Revitalization Workshops, July 6-7, MATC

Friday, June 26, 2009

From a news release posted on Business Wire:

The International Institute for Ecological Agriculture (IIEA) announced today that it is working with the Wisconsin Farmers Union and the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence along with agencies and groups across the region to present its next series of educational workshop programs. The two-day Intensive workshops, (June 27 and 28 in Osseo, WI and July 6 and 7 in Madison, WI) promote rural and urban economic revitalization and non-exportable job creation through the optimized production of food and fuel source crops and related by-products.

The workshops will be led by David Blume, renowned Permaculture and Biofuels expert and author of Alcohol Can Be A Gas. Mr. Blume, is the recent author recipient of the American Corn Growers Association’s Truth in Agricultural Journalism award, and will teach attendees how they can:

•Earn federal and state renewable energy tax incentives that can offset as much as 80% of the startup costs for a small-scale alcohol fuel business.
•Beat the fuel and food price increases predicted for 2009.
•Produce clean alcohol fuel for less than a dollar per gallon from waste, toxic and spoiled food, common weeds, as well as high-return crops.

“Because of our current economic climate, farmers everywhere are struggling,” said Sue Beitlich, President of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. “At WFU we are working diligently to help provide our members and community with the knowledge and means to improve our local and regional economic outlook. David Blume’s workshop provides proven systems based on agriculture science that will enhance and optimize food and fuel source crop production. That knowledge can help Wisconsin farmers build new businesses and become leaders in the sustainable energy movement.”

The two day workshops will be held . . . Monday and Tuesday July 6 and 7 at the Madison Area Technical College, (Truax Campus) in Madison WI. The open-to-the-public programs present an ideal launch pad for green business entrepreneurs, activists, farmers, and people everywhere who are interested in developing their own energy independence and taking control of their economic future. For more information on the workshop program and schedule please visit http://www.alcoholcanbeagas.com/store/alcohol_workshops

Getting a (plug-in) charge in Madison

Thursday, June 25, 2009

From a story by Bob Hague on the Wisconsin Radio Network:

Drivers of plug in electric vehicles will soon be able to charge up on the streets of Wisconsin's capital city. Madison Gas and Electric is the first utility in the nation to make electric vehicle charging stations publicly available, with the purchase of six such stations to be installed around the city, according to MG&E's Steve Krause.

"One of the disadvantages (to electric vehicles) now is when you don't have a public charging station, is you have to either charge the car at your home, or you have to charge it a prearranged location," said Krause. "People that want to use electric cars all day long, either in town or even town to town, need a place to refuel that vehicle, and these charging stations will do that. We also have an additional bonus. All of the power that will be used to power these cars will come from renewable sources, and it will be primarily wind energy."

This is a demonstration project and for now, electric vehicle drivers won't be charged for the juice. MG&E's Don Peterson said the utility sees this as a business opportunity eventually, so they'll be collecting data. For example, how many electric vehicles are out there in the Madison area? "We really don't know how many electric vehicles are out there," said Peterson. "The estimates go to anywhere from 25 to 75 vehicles." That's a number that could be increasing fairly rapidly: Peterson noted that a Madison area car dealership is already doing a brisk trade, converting Toyota Prius hybrids into all electric plug ins.

"We see this is as a business opportunity, but right now each charging station, installed, is costing somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000," said Peterson. "We're exploring avenues for grants and additional research money, but right now this is an MG&E funded program."

Revitalizing Ourselves Through Renewable Energy

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

From a presentation by RENEW's Michael Vickerman (above) at the Energy Fair of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association:

Energy Policy Must Recognize Energy Realities
+ Supplies of liquid fuels peaked in 2008
+ Capital is disappearing before our very eyes
+ Energy and food are the original currencies
+ The shift from stores to flows is inevitable
+ Current economy is highly energy-intensive
+ Energy return on energy invested (EROEI) must inform decision-making
+ We can’t afford to prop up existing energy sinks or engage in wealth-draining military adventures

Three paths to choose
+ Business as usual
+ Clean green technology
+ Curtailment and community

A Short Guide to Setting Up a City-Scale Retrofit Program

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

From an introduction to a guide just released by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy and Green for All:

Green For All and COWS have just released A Short Guide to Setting Up a City-Scale Retrofit Program. This guide provides a model for designing and implementing energy efficiency retrofitting programs on a citywide scale, with a goal of making these retrofits available to more households and providing good, entry-level jobs with career pathways that are accessible to low-income communities and communities of color.

Energy efficiency retrofits of our homes, schools, and workplaces are the first steps to building an inclusive clean energy economy by addressing climate change, putting people in careers, and reducing working families' energy bills. Despite their overwhelming economic and environmental benefits, current retrofitting programs have limited capacity and limited scope. Many are available only to income-eligible individuals, or to those with the money up-front to do the work. Furthermore, many current retrofitting programs only create low-wage, short-term jobs, rather than providing pathways into sustainable careers in construction and green building.

Clearly, a new model is needed. This guide is a tool for local organizations, business leaders, entrepreneurs, elected officials, and others in cities across the country to use to promote energy efficiency in their communities. It outlines all of the important aspects of such a program, including policies, labor standards, community coalitions, and long-term funding options.

Don’t let bus station closure set back Madison

Monday, June 22, 2009

From a letter to the editor David Knuti, Madison Peak Oil Group, and Susan De Vos, Madison Area Bus Advocates:

The Badger Bus Company plans to close its intercity bus terminal at West Washington and Bedford, which is likely to clog city streets, discomfort bus passengers and reduce total ridership when it needs to be sharply increased. In addition, the best site for a future central transit hub should not be permanently lost. When the issue comes up at its June 15 meeting, the City Planning Commission should withhold approval of the redevelopment plan until viable plans for intercity bus service have been worked out.

No plans have been offered for future service other than pile the rest of Madison’s intercity bus activity onto the curb at Langdon Street and have the Union service the passengers. UW has said it will not cooperate with this development, and the added bus traffic is likely create a hopeless pile-up in an already crowded location. But a worse alternative would be for bus service to be completely dispersed to scattered street corners and peripheral locations.

It is time for the Mayor and Council to lead a joint search for solutions involving all the companies--Van Galder, Greyhound and Badger. To make this work, the city should dust off its traffic control ordinances, planning capability, and financial resources. Ultimately, an effort should be made to refocus bus service back to the station, and consider public support for its operation and improvement—with or without public acquisition.

At this time, Badger is rushing to build another downtown commercial-residential development when space is empty and projects are stalled all around them. In the meantime, a Regional Transportation Authority is being created, high-speed rail is coming to town, the state is considering more intercity bus routes, and commuter rapid transit is in planning—all with expanding Federal support. The current Bus Station is the best point for all these developments to converge in a multi-modal center. Time is needed to seriously deal with these issues.

Give your opinion on State of Wisconsin coal plant in Waupun, June 23

Thursday, June 18, 2009

From the Sierra Club:

Did you know...
...that the State of Wisconsin owns and operates 15 coal-fired plants?
...that our tax dollars are shipped to Appalachia to buy dirty coal from mountain-top removal mines?
...that our institutions of higher education and health spew soot, smog, mercury, and global warming pollution?

Governor Doyle took the first step by committing to get UW-Madison and Capitol Heat and Power off of coal, a move that will cut the state's coal use by more than 60%. We can finish the job and transform the 13 remaining state-owned plants.

Tuesday, the State wants to know what we think about proposed options for the coal plant at Waupun Correctional Facility. Please join us in asking the State of Wisconsin to completely kick the dirty coal habit, stop importing coal from the mountains of Appalachia, and fuel our facilities with cleaner, safer, cheaper sources of energy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 6:00 to 8:30 pm
Waupun Utilities
817 S. Madison Street, Waupun

Sierra Club will help provide transportation from Madison. Contact Jennifer Feyerherm at jennifer.feyerherm@sierraclub.org or 257-4994 if you would like more information.

The Governor's Task Force on Global Warming reccomended that state government lead the way in doing our fair share to reduce global warming pollution. With your help, we can move our state government beyond coal and bring cleaner, safer energy solutions home to Wisconsin.

Notice from the Wisconsin Department of Administration

Notice of Town Hall Meeting

On Draft Study of the State-Owned Heating Plant at the Waupun Correctional Institution

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
6:00 to 8:30 pm
Waupun Utilities
817 S. Madison Street

The public is invited to learn more and provide input on a draft comprehensive feasibility study that looks at how to meet the Waupun Correctional Institution’s energy needs.

The Wisconsin Department of Administration and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections invite citizens to a Town Hall Meeting to learn more about a study that analyzes alternatives to ways the state generates electricity and heat at the Waupun Correctional Institution. There will also be an opportunity for citizens to comment on the draft report from the study.

The Town Hall Meeting will include opportunities for one-on-one discussions with experts, displays on the findings in the draft report and a forum for comments. The agenda follows:

6:00 Self-guided review of displays, discussion with experts
6:30 Information Presentation
6:45 Open Forum
8:00 Revisit displays and discussions
8:15 Wrap-up

The study is being conducted as part of an agreement reached in November, 2007 between the Department of Administration and the Sierra Club to complete feasibility studies on the cost-effectiveness and reliability of different energy-generation alternatives at several state-owned heating plants, including the Waupun Correctional Central Heating Plant.

Built in 1949, The Waupun Correctional Central Heating Plant provides heat, electricity and emergency power for the Waupun and Dodge Correctional Institutions. The plant also provides well, tower and a potable water supply for these correctional institutions and three smaller state facilities in the area. Energy at the plant is currently generated with three coal-fired boilers built in 1949 and one natural gas boiler built in 1970.

A copy of the draft report will be posted online before the meeting at: http://www.doa.state.wi.us/section.asp?linkid=146&locid=4.

The public is welcome to offer feedback on the study at the town hall meeting, or by sending an email to StateHeatingPlantComments@wisconsin.gov by June 30, 2009. For more information about the town hall meeting, please contact Linda Barth with the Department of Administration at 608-266-7362, or John Dipko with the Department of Corrections 608-240-5060.

Peak Oil Group signs onto letter of support for regional transit authority

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

From a letter to state senators from a coaliton of organizations, including the Madison Peak Oil Group, in support of legislation authorizing creation of regional transportation authorities:

June 17, 2009

To the members of the Wisconsin Senate:

We write to you in strong support of regional transportation authority (RTA) enabling legislation. We urge the state senate to keep the creation of RTAs moving forward in the state budget, and expand the RTA opportunity to other communities in Wisconsin.

Research shows that access to transportation is a major priority for business owners and commuters because it leads to economic growth while also providing options for getting around. New businesses will locate in Wisconsin cities where they know they will have access to large labor pools, and where travel connections with other large economic centers are quick, easy and help them grow their operations. And students graduating from Wisconsin schools will stay here to take advantage of new jobs, vibrant communities, and convenient transportation.

One critical step necessary in the short term for Wisconsin to reap these economic benefits is the creation of regional transit authorities. Under Wisconsin’s current, antiquated rules, cities that provide transit must contract with one another and squeeze transit funding out of their general revenues, mainly from property taxes.

The resulting unstable, underfunded transit cannot compete for federal construction dollars, and cannot provide sustainable service to our communities. RTAs will put Wisconsin on a more level playing field with other states, and enable regions to plan and sustain a regional transportation network.

Panel approves plan to remake Badger Bus terminal

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From an article by Mike Ivey in The Capital Times:

A proposal to redevelop the Badger Bus terminal site at the corner of West Washington Avenue and Bedford Street has moved forward, despite pleas from mass transit backers.

The Madison Plan Commission Monday night approved plans for 82 luxury apartments units and 12,000 square feet of retail space in three buildings in the Bassett neighborhood.

The development would force closing of the bus terminal at 2 S. Bedford St., but that issue fell outside the review of the commission.

"I don't like to see the bus station going away and that's not to say it's not an important matter," said commission member Tim Gruber.

Still, a half-dozen transit backers spoke against the project. In addition to regular Badger Bus service between Madison and Milwaukee, the station also serves 10 Greyhound trips daily.

"This is going to make bus travel that much more difficult, especially for people without cars," said Barbara Smith.

Free solar service available from City of Madison

Monday, June 15, 2009

From an e-mail sent by Jeanne Hoffman, sustainability coordinator for the City of Madison:

If you want to know if a solar system would work for you, you can use the FREE service of the solar agent. The agent was hired by the City of Madison to evaluate the solar options on your property. He also will, if you wish, help you find a contractor.

All residents, businesses and non-profit organization with property in the City of Madison are eligible for this FREE service.

For assistance from the Solar Agent please contact (608) 243-0586 or email solar@cityofmadison.com.

Plan commission set to vote on Badger Bus depot demolition

Saturday, June 13, 2009

An e-mail from Barbara Smith:

Plan Commission
Public Hearing - 6pm
Monday, June 15th
Madison Municipal Building, Room 201

TOPIC: Badger Bus Depot

Are you concerned about the plans to demolish the Badger Bus Depot without
a workable alternative for inter-city bus service?

The city's Plan Commission will review and vote on the Badger Bus
redevelopment plan on Monday, June 15th. The rezoning of 2 S. Bedford St.
(Badger Bus Depot) is item #8.

The meeting is at 5:30pm in the Madison Municipal Building, Room 201. The
meeting includes a PUBLIC HEARING at 6pm.

Please consider sending an e-mail to Plan Commission members with your thoughts, or showing up at the public hearing Monday with a prepared statement (I think 3 or 5 minutes per person is allowed).

The Plan Commission needs to hear about the public's concern for the lack of transit planning with this redevelopment plan. If the Plan Commission approves the demolition, the City Council votes 7/7 and that's final, is what I understand.

Here are the Plan Commission members:

Michael Schumacher

Lauren Cnare

Julia S. Kerr

Nancy E. Fey

Eric W. Sundquist

Judy K. Olson

James C. Boll

Judith A. Bowser

Michael A. Basford

Michael G. Heifetz

Timothy Gruber

Douglas J. Pearson

No Fear Dentistry taps sun for hot water and electricity

Thursday, June 11, 2009

From a news release issued by Focus on Energy:

Madison No Fear Dentistry, a newly constructed dental office, [hosted] an open house on June 5, 2009 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event celebrates the facility’s grand opening as well as the completion of its new solar electric and solar hot water systems. The office is located at 344 S. Yellowstone Dr. in Madison, Wis.

The renewable energy systems were completed with technical assistance and more than $12,000 in financial incentives from Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative. Because of Focus’ assistance, Dr. David Ducommun, owner of Madison No Fear Dentistry, will be able to cut the facility’s natural gas and electricity consumption — shielding him from increases in energy costs and helping him gain energy independence.

“David is a great example of what other Wisconsin business owners can do to cut their energy costs, while helping the environment,” said Eric Callisto, Public Service Commission Chairperson. “His efforts can be emulated by so many, as Focus on Energy has a network of renewable energy experts and financial incentives readily available for thousands of eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses.”

H&H Solar Services, a Madison, Wis., based company, installed both the solar electric and solar hot water systems. The 5.4 kilowatt (kW) solar electric system consists of 30 panels on the roof of Madison No Fear Dentistry. The solar hot water system, which consists 78 square feet of collectors on the roof, is expected to offset 164 therms per year.

Increasing wind power would improve economy

From a letter to the editor of The Capital Times by Scott Ribin:

Dear Editor: I'm writing in regard to recent letters about wind energy in Wisconsin. In my opinion, one of the best reasons to use more wind energy is that it will strengthen our economy.

First, using wind power will allow us to stop importing fossil fuels from out-of-state sources, which will lead to the creation of thousands of in-state middle-class manufacturing jobs, an area hit hard by the recent recession.

Second, constructing wind farms is also more cost-effective than building new coal or nuclear power plants because they have a greater direct impact on the local economy.

Third, northeastern Wisconsin is one of the best areas in the country to construct and place turbines because of its wind strength and speeds. This area already has a well-developed manufacturing base that is eager to thrive under a renewable revolution.

Wind power also will lower health care spending. Fossil fuel use is directly related to rising asthma and lung cancer prevalence rates. This especially occurs in lower-income families without insurance, further increasing health care costs.

Take the bus from Madison to the Energy Fair, Custer, WI

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Don’t Miss the 20th Anniversary Energy Fair, June 19-21, 2009

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association will celebrate its 20th Anniversary Energy Fair on June 19-21, 2009. Next weekend, the MREA’s Energy Fair transforms central Wisconsin into the global hot spot for renewable energy education, with over 20,000 fair attendees each year. The Fair is the nation’s largest and longest running energy education event. The Energy Fair is held in Custer, WI just seven miles east of Stevens Point.

Take the Bus from Madison! Sponsored by Madison Gas and Electric
The MREA offers mass transit transportation from Madison to The Energy Fair. Help us to reduce the carbon footprint, and receive a discount on your entrance ticket. Coffee and breakfast items from the Willy Street Co-op will be served on the bus each morning to help jump start your day! Round trip ticket is $20. Depart from The Northside Town Center- Sherman Plaza at Sherman Ave. and Northport Dr. at 7 am each morning. Free Parking in the middle of the front lot. The bus will leave the Fair at 7pm on Friday and Saturday and 5pm on Sunday. Ride the bus and get $5 off admission to the Fair.

Get your bus ticket by Friday, June 12!
Sign up online at: http://www.the-mrea.org/fair_registration.php

Features of the 2009 Energy Fair
* Over 280 exhibitors - featuring sustainable living and energy products
* Over 200 workshops - from introductory level to hands-on education
* Clean Energy Car Show - featuring demonstration vehicles and workshops, with live car conversions
* Green Home Pavilion –focused on building and remodeling in a sustainable way, with hands-on demonstration walls
* Sustainable Tables – learn how to bring sustainability to your dinner table with workshops, farmers market, and chef demonstrations
* Keynotes – including Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us
* Music – including national recording artist Michelle Shocked!

More information about the Fair
Contact the Midwest Renewable Energy Association
715-592-6595 or online at http://www.the-mrea.org

Hope to see you at the Fair!

WORT to discuss Badger Bus and transit issues, noon, Friday, June 12

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Please plan to listen and call in to Friday's "A Public Affair" radio show
on WORT. The Badger Bus Terminal and transit in general are the topics!

Friday, June 12th
12 NOON to 1pm
WORT FM 89.9

"A Public Affair"
Host: Diane Farsetta
Guests include Robbie Webber and others.

If you have to miss the show Friday, you can listen later to the on-line archive at www.wort-fm.org and choose "Archive" on the right.

Hope you can join the conversation Friday at noon!

Traffic volume plan not anti-developer

Monday, June 08, 2009

From a commentary in The Capital Times by Eric Sundquist, a member of the city's Plan Commission and Long Range Transportation Planning Committee:

Madison's City Council will soon review a proposal aimed at providing efficient transportation access in the city. The proposal would save money for the city, which spends millions of property tax dollars on roads. It would reduce pollution and protect productive farmland. And it would provide better access to work and other destinations for those who cannot or choose not to drive.

The resolution would judge our success in this effort by measuring traffic volumes, setting a target of 25 percent fewer vehicle-miles on city streets by 2020, after accounting for population growth. This goal would return us to the same levels of driving that existed in the 1980s. . . .

The resolution would not force anyone to stop driving. Rather, it would encourage development and infrastructure that lets people and businesses make fewer and shorter car trips, and would make walking, biking and transit more feasible for those who choose those modes.

A Capital Times story of June 3 paints the resolution as anti-developer. This is not the case. Zoning applications today are judged on "public health, safety, morals and general welfare," a general standard that can vary depending on who happens to complain about a project.

In contrast, the traffic resolution would make clear the public interest in transportation efficiency. Developers would know better how to design and present projects that can get approved -- by ensuring good and varied access between uses.

Some have worried that because some traffic comes from the suburbs, city policy is irrelevant. This problem is overstated because Madison has two-thirds of the population of the regional transportation planning area, most trips people make are local, and Madison's built environment affects travel even for those coming from other localities.

Falk Announces “Green Energy Dane Plan"

Thursday, June 04, 2009

From an news release issued by Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk:

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today the county has compiled a list of projects that will both save taxpayer dollars and generate new sources of revenue to help fund vital county human services. The work will be paid for through a $2.26 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Dane County received under the federal stimulus legislation. . . .

Headlining the “Green Energy Dane Plan,” are a significant number of projects to make more than 50-year-old county facilities much more energy efficient and less costly to operate. These efforts include changing lighting and improving heating and cooling systems. The plan also calls for the installation of solar-photovoltaic systems (solar panels) at county facilities that will convert solar energy into electricity Dane County will sell to local utilities.

The “Green Energy Dane Plan” also includes using approximately $350,000 of the grant for a feasibility study to explore potential benefits of a facility to convert food waste into energy. The study will look at taking food waste from commercial sources and turning it into energy rich bio-gas. Early estimates indicate this could generate $2 to $4-million a year in revenue for the county.

“We’re converting trash at our landfill into millions in cash each year for taxpayers and moving forward with work to make money and energy from manure, so exploring the possible benefits of collecting all the waste food from our hospitals and restaurants just makes great economic and environmental sense,” Falk said.

Falk noted the county recently signed a ten-year contract with MG&E in which the utility pays the county $3-million each year for electricity generated at the landfill. This effort nets enough electricity to power 4,000 homes.

Madison wants to cut auto traffic 25 percent by 2020

From an article by Mike Ivey in The Capital Times:

The city of Madison is poised to add another hoop for developers to jump through when considering new projects: how many car trips will be generated.

A resolution working its way through City Hall sets a goal of reducing the total amount of vehicle miles traveled here 25 percent by 2020. That could make it harder to build homes, offices or stores on the urban fringe where cars are the sole means of transportation.

But supporters say reducing automobile dependency will bring economic, social and environmental benefits to the city. They also contend it won't tie the hands of the private sector or drive investment out of town.

"These are goals, just one more thing to consider when making decisions," east side Ald. Satya Rhodes-Conway told the Madison Plan Commission at its meeting this week. "It doesn't require the council or Plan Commission to do anything other than pay attention."

Approved by the Plan Commission on a 7-1 vote, the resolution says automobiles are "a major contributor to environmental degradation, including air emissions that increase levels of ozone, particulates, greenhouse gases, stormwater runoff, heat island effects, habitat and agricultural land destruction."

It further states that transportation inefficiency is a "major contributor to social inequity," making it harder for the poor or disabled to get to work or meet other daily needs.

The resolution calls for coordinating transportation and land-use planning on a citywide scale, noting that mixed-use development within individual neighborhoods alone won't make much difference

Preserve Our Climate meeting, June 8, Madison Public Library

Our next Preserve Our Climate meeting will be on Monday, June 8th at the Madison Public Library. The regular meeting will start at 6PM, but we will also start the discussion at 5:30 as some people need to leave early. Please feel welcome to come for some or all of the meeting, depending on your convenience.

One of our agenda items will be discussion regarding the climate legislation currently before Congress. Please send other agenda topics you would like to discuss. We'll send out an agenda soon.

Best wishes,
Susan and Sierra

The latest peak oil projection: a stunning difference

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

From a post by John Kingston, Platts, on EnergyBulletin.net:

A session with a leading Peak Oil supporter can always be a sobering experience. That was certainly the case May 28 at the "New Challenges for Crude Oil" conference in Geneva, where the president of main international Peak Oil group spoke.

Swedish professor Kjell Aleklett is actually a physics professor at Uppsale Universit, not a geology professor. But he is also the president of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, and he was chair of the Platts' conference.

He is about to present a paper for peer review and inclusion in the academic magazine Energy Policy. That paper will take issue with the International Energy Agency projections on oil supply out to 2030, by an enormous factor.

The difference between the IEA and Aleklett's work is fairly straightforward. Aleklett adopts what he calls a "parameter" in determing the rate of depletion in fields that have yet to be developed or fields yet to be discovered, two key elements in the IEA's projections.

The gap between his work and that of the IEA is huge. IEA projections of liquids supply see total output of 101.5 million b/d by 2030. Aleklett's research sees it at a little more than 75 million b/d.

There are numerous areas where Aleklett said his research agreed with the IEA, including the projected rate of decline of existing fields. But beyond that, what Aleklett says are the different approaches toward depletion rates creates enormous differences in projections out to 2030. Output in fields to be developed would be 22.5 million b/d in the IEA forecast; it's 13.6 in Aleklett's. The difference in fields yet to be discovered is 19.2 million b/d vs. 8.7 million b/d.

Aleklett, like other Peak Oil proponents, also criticized the IEA practice of counting all barrels of NGLs equally with a barrel of crude, even though the BTU content is not equal.