2011 Peak Oil Conference, Part 4: The Answer is Geothermal

“Find three solutions to every problem,  and then find one more just in case.”

PhotofromASPO2011Friday

The time for endless debate is over. We need action.

We know that it is becoming increasingly difficult to increase world oil supplies. There is no point in discussing, to a fine point, when Peak Oil will happen. It is more important to know the consequence of not being able to keep up with demand.

The consequence is rising prices. We have seen that when oil prices exceed $100 per barrel, the world economy starts grinding to a halt. But oil is already at $90+ per barrel, and the world is in a slow growth period. Could the “new normal” be slow or no growth?

How much time do we have? Just today we hear that Israel is considering bombing Iran. And business commentators are now looking beyond Greece to Italy. But Italy is too large for Germany and France to save. If the EU unravels, the consequence for the world economy is not pretty. So how much time do we have? I would say, “Not much.”

We need to look hard and find that extra solution to our problem. We need a solution that strengthens the aloha spirit and is proven technology, low cost, stable and an economic driver. Our solution needs to create no emissions and be large enough to make a real difference.

The answer is geothermal. But our electric utility is operating with one hand tied behind its back. It has a fiduciary duty to its shareholders, which prevents it from finding that one solution that solves all our problems.

We need to untie the utility’s hands.

Read the rest of this series on the 2011 Peak Oil Conference:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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