New Technologies Change Calculations on Future Energy Supplies
Unconventional fossil fuels are being developed for market.
Some of the reserves have been know for decades but were inaccessible either economically or technologically
Potentially hundreds of billions of barrels of recoverable reserves could be brought to market.
Geopolitical and economic influence could shift around the world.
The new drilling boom is expected to shift global sources away from the Middle East just as the growth of consumption of fuels shifts from the US and Europe to China and India.
Some say these sources will dramatically change the energy supply outlook.
This shift in energy started in the 1990s with the first deepwater oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil.
Has taken off in the last decade as a result of;
The US may now have the means to reduce its half century of dependence on the Middle East
China and India may have the means to fuel the development of their growing middle classes
Japan and much of Europe may have the chance to reduce dependence on nuclear power
And, at least theoretically, African countries may be able to lift themselves out of poverty
Consumers around the world, the new fuels should moderate future price increases, according to some
However, these new sources of fossil fuels will probably make solutions to climate change and the development of alternative energy even more difficult
According to Daniel Lashof, director of the climate change program at the National Resources Defense Council;
"..... you are moving into fossil fuels that are
dirtier and release more carbon pollution in
the process of extracting and using them."
Competition between fossil fuels and renewable energy development was driven by the price of oil and gas as well as government policy
James Burkhard of energy consulting firm IHS Cera says:
"The unconventional boom will guarantee that
the competition is strong for years to come.
If oil costs $200 a barrel, that would provide
more headroom for electric vehicles. But if
oil is $90, alternative, renewable energy will
need to compete better on an economic basis."