South Baltic Gas Forum
5 - 9 September 2011, Gdańsk, Poland

Energy crisis

An energy crisis is any significant bottleneck in the supply of energy resources to an economy. In literature, it often refers to one of the energy sources used at a certain time and place, in particular those that supply national electricity grids or those used as fuel in vehicles.
Industrial development and population growth have led to a surge in the global demand for energy in recent years. In the 2000s, this new demand ‚ together with Middle East tension, the falling value of the U.S. dollar, dwindling oil reserves, concerns over peak oil, and oil price speculation ‚ triggered the 2000s energy crisis, which saw the price of oil reach an all-time high of $147.30 a barrel in 2008.
Pipeline failures and other accidents may cause minor interruptions to energy supplies. A crisis could possibly emerge after infrastructure damage from severe weather. Attacks by terrorists or militia on important infrastructure are a possible problem for energy consumers, with a successful strike on a Middle East facility potentially causing global shortages. Political events, for example, when governments change due to regime change, monarchy collapse, military occupation, and coup may disrupt oil and gas production and create shortages. Fuel shortage can also be due to the excess and useless use of the fuels.
”Peak oil‘ is the period when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. It relates to a long-term decline in the available supply of petroleum. This, combined with increasing demand, significantly increases the worldwide prices of petroleum derived products. Most significant is the availability and price of liquid fuel for transportation.
Kirk Sorensen and others have suggested that additional nuclear power plants, particularly liquid fluoride thorium reactors have the energy density to mitigate global warming and replace the energy from peak oil, peak coal and peak gas. The reactors produce electricity and heat so much of the transportation infrastructure should move over to electric vehicles. However, the high process heat of the molten salt reactors could be used to make liquid fuels from any carbon source.

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