Sunday, August 17, 2014

Turnaround in the energy market: Goodbye, oil – Business Week

Benjamin Reuter and Philip Mattheis

It is a historic turning point: The industrialized nations consume less and less oil, in the emerging markets, the demand far not so fast. Behind the departure from black gold stuck three surprising megatrends.

It was a bloody battle in the desert, which the startled world markets. At dawn on June 18 masked men attacked dozens of jeeps and on foot at the largest oil refinery in Iraq. The fighters with Kalashnikovs and grenade launchers were part of the radical movement “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” the destabilizing currently in the Middle East the tri-border region of Syria to Iraq to Jordan.

Six Days battles raged in the town of Baiji some 200 kilometers north of Baghdad. Government troops, partly in civilian clothes, rushed. Helicopters and planes dropped bombs on the rebel jeeps. It was no use. On 24 June, the Islamists conquered the refinery. It was a show of force that drove the price of oil in late June to an annual record of $ 115. On the grounds of wanting to protect the “global energy markets,” U.S. President Barack Obama sent hundreds of military advisers in the country.

Although the oil price has fallen again and the assisted areas in the south and north of Iraq seem sure – but in Baiji was found under a magnifying glass as our still enormous dependence on oil. Without the raw material goes nothing: cars, airplanes, ships stopped, plastic production geriete stalled, heaters were cold, the power supply would collapse in some countries. But this dependence begins to end. The move away from oil: For largely unnoticed by the public, a historic turning point takes place.

In the industrialized countries, oil consumption since 2005 drops already The coming year could mark a global turning point, the experts of the International Energy Agency IEA expect in Paris. According to their forecasts, the thirst for oil in 2016 will first increase more slowly than in the previous year without a recession rages. To around 2030 could be the consumption even decline worldwide.

With the exception of the oil crises in the seventies, the demand for the commodity would therefore decrease for the first time permanently. The first successful oil well operation for the first time since the adventurer Edwin Drake in Pennsylvania in 1859 in the ground

trigger the era are mainly three megatrends. Firstly efficient technology, supported by increasingly stringent climate protection rules. Second, serious competition for the energy carrier oil. Third, changes in mobility behavior by the explosive growth of cities.

But how is taking the leave of the oil exactly? The tracing should start where it all began. Outside our front door

Germany: a model of efficiency

At dawn on a Tuesday in August 1996, a handful of Greenpeace activists rolled out of bed and prepared in Lucerne, Switzerland, in front of an almost historic demonstration. Not with battle cries or posters, but with technology.

The environmentalists started with a converted Renault Twingo, a 200-kilometer-long test drive over Zurich and back. Technicians had the aerodynamics of the Mini car improved for them, put him on diet and weight engine optimized. The reward: The car used on the Swiss roads only 3.2 liters per 100 kilometers – about half as much as comparable small cars of the time.


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