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Oil Price

Fly, but leave your car at home

Under the new policies scenario in the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2010, chapter 3 contains a graph showing aviation oil consumption going up from a current 4.95 mb/d to 7.75 mb/d in 2035:

weo_2010_aviation_oil_consumption_new_policies_scenario

The new policies scenario assumes a growth in oil demand of another 10 mb/d over the next 25 years, much lower than under current policies:

  weo_2010_weo_primary_oil_demand_2035

But that of course will be very difficult as crude oil production is seen flat at best over this forecast period in the same WEO 2010 report:

iea_weo_2010_crude_oil_plateau

We also don’t know how aviation will continue when oil prices go up. These are the oil price assumptions in the WEO 2010

  weo_2010_fig153_crude_oil_import_price_2010_2035

Let us assume optimistically that there will be no oil price shocks and that these modest oil price increases in the new policies scenario will indeed materialize.

The world’s passenger cars consume around 18.6 mb/d so if aviation needs an additional 2.8 mb/d someone has to save 15%. Easy to achieve with more efficient cars you might think. But not on current trends in Australia as shown in the previous post. And given the growth in Chinese car production and assuming petrol savings can be turned into aviation fuel, there can be only one solution: fly, but leave your car at home.

This, of course, will completely upset those who plan for growing car traffic to airports, for example.

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