The American Energy Security Study (AESS) is the official name of the report referred to in the previous post. In a brief review of the executive summary I picked up the following items that give a little more background about the report.
The American Energy Security (AES) Study shows that the United States can eliminate dependence on oil imports entirely by 2030. It establishes a bold plan to replace approximately five percent of imported oil each year for 20 years, beginning in 2010 (see Figure 1 below). Assuming aggressive implementation beginning in 2007, under the SSEB American Energy Security initiatives domestic liquid fuels production and transportation efficiency savings begin gradually after 2010 and ramp up to produce most of the nation’s liquid fuels requirements by 2030.
To establish U.S. energy security and independence by 2030 all feasible supply and demand options must be aggressively pursued. There is no single answer:
- Transportation energy efficiency improvements are important but, by themselves, can contribute only a small portion of the required solution.
- Renewable biomass fuels are a critical part of the portfolio of required initiatives, but can produce less than one-fourth of the required liquid fuels.
- CTL, oil shale, and EOR will all contribute substantially, and all three technologies must be aggressively deployed.
The U.S. is endowed with the largest alternative oil resources in the world. This includes five hundred billion tons of coal (oil equivalent of approximately 750,000 billion barrels), the potential to sustain 1.3 billion tons of biomass collection/harvesting for liquid fuel production by 2030 (oil equivalent of approximately 4.5 million barrels per day to perpetuity), more than a trillion barrels of oil shale liquid fuels, and 80+ billion barrels of oil stranded in conventional reservoirs that are technically recoverable using CO2 injection and sequestration to enhance oil recovery. These resources rival estimated worldwide conventional oil resources of 1-2 trillion barrels.
Biomass derived liquids, specifically starch/grain base ethanol and biodiesel fuels, are already flowing into the U.S. marketplace in commercial volumes. With a mandate from Congress, corn/grain-based ethanol and biodiesel production are projected to continue to grow rapidly over the next few years. This study has identified three emerging biomass technologies expected to contribute on a much larger scale: cellulosic ethanol; biomass gasification with Fischer-Tropsch fuel synthesis, and pyrolysis.
By producing environmentally superior transportation fuels from near-zero emissions plants, the United States can set an example for the world. Coal, biomass and oil shale derived liquid fuels produced from gasification and follow-up Fischer-Tropsch (FT) processing, for example, will produce ultra-clean, bio-degradable, essentially zero sulfur, low particulate and NOx emissions diesel and jet fuels, having performance characteristics superior to their conventional distillate counterparts. Zero sulfur gasoline also can be produced. Increased performance from FT fuels translates to lower CO2 emissions per mile traveled.
They used data from the EIA for forecast energy demand for vehicles, which includes the use of HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCVs. EIA assumed that the fleet efficiency increased 1.5% a year through 2015 and 1% a year from 2015 to 2030. They used 17 years for the average life of a car based on historical data which translates to half of the current fleet will be replaced in 17 years. Due to increased sales of vehicles the total amount of fuel used increased through the study period.
They give this dissertation on peak oil: A growing number of oil industry experts predict that world crude oil production will “peak” by 2020, or sooner. As the “peak” approaches, world supplies will begin failing to meet world demand, and the shortfall will grow with time. This study forecasts that at oil peaking, oil prices would immediately increase by about 150 percent, and continue to rise as the gap between supply and demand widens. Many oil market specialists contend that if a peak occurs, oil prices could increase much more than 150 percent. Clearly, if oil peaks and the U.S. is unprepared, the economic impact will be catastrophic. Even without peaking, continuing tight markets represent risk.
The AESS estimates that if oil peaks in 2010, and aggressive domestic alternative fuels production programs are not implemented, over the period 2010-2020 the U.S. economy will lose about:
- $4.6 trillion in GDP
- 40 million job years of employment
- $1.3 billion in federal, state, and local government tax revenues
They estimate that if oil peaks in 2020 and no crash programs are implemented, over the period 2020-2030 the U.S. economy will lose about:
- $13 trillion in GDP
- 100 million job years of employment
- $4 trillion in federal, state, and local government tax revenues
Their estimates for the contribution of biomass and vehicle efficiency are certainly low compared to what I believe. The author has good credentials, being the second author of the Hirsch report. I think he is biased because the Hirsch report concluded that CTL was the major replacement fuel. Biomass fuels have become more of a reality since the Hirsch report, which basically dismissed them. At least Bezdek concluded that they were the second most important technology. That being said, I don't think we should pick apart the details of this report, it shows a path to oil independence even though it is widely different from that of others. People are becoming concerned enough about the problem of increasing oil prices to the extent that they are proposing how to solve the problem. We are making a lot of progress in The Energy Revolution and that's the point.
The American Energy Security Study, Southern States Energy Board, July 2006