We are about to leave the era of cheap oil

Paradigm shift is a word to be used scarcely. At this years Swedish National Energy Convention most of the speakers agreed that we are about to leave the era of cheap oil. Ugur Ocal at IEA contributed to the impression by presenting the most restrictive forecast for oil sales ever seen in the World Energy Outlook. As experienced last year the world production and refining capacity is close to maximum. Few actors with reserve capacity have major impact on the price. And, additional demands or speculation drives the price rapidly. The volatility of the oil price is of major concern.

Robert Silverman at the US embassy in Stockholm gave a preview of the new US energy plan. With Steven Chu at the ruder a new course has been laid out: renewable, efficiency improvement, cap & trade.

The convention was inaugurated by the Swedish Environmental Minister Andreas Carlgren (top left) who presented the new Environmental plan, in an inspired talk, to decrease the fossil energy further. The General Director Thomas Kåberger (top right) gave a precise and detailed progress report in an equally inspired analysis and acted, him self, as moderator for the following session. In the debate Leif Brodén (Södra), Jan-Eric Sundgren (Volvo), Lars Stenqvist (Scania) and Michael Löw (Preem) reflected on the direction and measures towards further decrease of fossil energy in Sweden.

I presented the consequences for buses. The Swedish Public Transport Society pushes for rapid change and in practical terms all new buses bought in Sweden today are compatible to run with 100% biofuels. Sweden thus becomes different from the rest of the world. Some say, in the fore front or ahead of the development. I expressed worries that even when the general direction towards fossil independence is generally agreed to be ahead, the complication comes when the operators buying buses today have to chose a specific technical solution, investing large sums. It is not clear which direction is ahead and which technology turns out to be an off-spring.

I have to confess, I find Stockholm most joyful for jogging. Where ever you stay its close to the waterfront. The path around Djurgården is frequented by numerous early morning runners, dog walkers and even some skaters. Stockholm has announced an intention to increase the fleet of biogas buses. The bus rout 76 pass along Strandvägen is frequented by biogas buses supplied by Volvo.

About volvobuses

Adjunct Professor of Catalysis at Chalmers University of Technology. Lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, with my wife and three daughters born in 1991, 1994 and 1997. Is a passionate runner.
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