Inderscience Publishers

Peak oil and energy security: can alternative fuels and vehicles save us?

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

Peak oil can be defined as the point in time when global oil production reaches its maximum annual rate, after which the annual production rate generally declines. Against an expected profile of growing demand for oil-based transport fuels, when peak oil occurs, it could create a growing transport fuel supply gap which, if not filled, would be expected to lead to very high prices for petroleum products in countries dependent on petroleum based transport. Australia is 97% dependent on petroleum fuels for transport. Given that a peak in global oil production cannot be ruled out within the next two decades to 2030, it is timely to examine the likely outcomes, particularly for petroleum product prices, in that event, and the role of alternative fuels and vehicles. This article presents one methodology, based on imposing fuel supply quantity constraints, for modelling Australian transport sector demand, and supply and price responses under a peak oil scenario.

Keywords: energy security, energy supply, integrated modelling, peak oil, resource depletion, resources, Australia, petroleum products, petroleum prices, alternative fuels, modelling, transport demand

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