Perspective on Transitioning From Oil to Another Energy Source

by: Cam Hui, CFA

I have written about the Peak Oil thesis before. Gregor Macdonald over at his site has a new post entitled The Myth of Energy Breakthroughs that gives a great perspective on that viewpoint [emphasis mine]:

It’s common among those who sell the idea of energy breakthrough to invoke electronic or digital adoption narratives. Breakthroughs in medicine, in electronic networks, and in other intellectual achievement distribute more easily upon existing systems. This is why I continue to believe that many (not all) in Cleantech Venture don't really understand the scale of our energy problem. Or, having understood the scale of our energy problem, many apply adoption pathways learned from other systems–that simply don’t translate to energy, and the built environment.

If the world is to transition from oil to another energy source, the amount of time and scale of the process is enormous. Gregor Macdonald went on to a chart that shows how long it took nuclear to reach levels of electrical generation by hydro.

Simply put, nine women can't have a baby in a single month.