Fossil Fuels Scarcity and Socioeconomic Scenarios

Download pdf: Agotamiento de los combustibles fósiles y escenarios socio-económicos: un enfoque integrado

The fossil fuels scarcity, specially those named conventional or which are easy to extract, is a process thoroughly recognized and it can be looked since many years. The studies regard with scarcity views are rather common in the scienctific literature, but only a few offer a broad perspective with all energy resources and its possible technological alternatives, and more less those studies which have account of the demand associated to socioeconomic system.

This article presents an Economy-Energy-Environvent model based in Dynamic Systems (Wold Limits Model o WoLiM) which integrates all of these aspects: phisical restrinctions derived from the depletion of mainly energy resources (with estimations  to peaks in oil, gas, coal, uranium, and so on), the potential technology for renewable energies (estimated through a top-down approach), the estimation of the required demands by the socioeconomic system, the possible development of alternatives politics and in relation with energy emissions of  C02.

In this article the results of this model are compared with basic estimations of studies of environmental assesment (Global Environmental Asesment, GEA). The results show that a energy transition conducted by the demand and markets, as in the past, it is not possible: if the treds of demand are as usual it is foreseen a strong scarcity before 2020, specially for transport sector, while the electricity generation is not able to cover the demand since 2025-2050. For being able to find scenarios which will be possible with restrictions derived from peaks of fossil fuels is required to apply hypothesis that rarely are present in the official international institutions or the GEA reports as economic growths equal to zero or negatives.

 

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