Well if you can't be bothered to read about peak oil, or just think it's anohter green conspiracy, then this podcast is certainly your wake up call. I had a little shock at the start
The big news for me - and something I'd missed was Shell going on the record in the last couple of weeks saying their production has reduced over the last 4 years, and they see easy oil will be over by 2015. This is a major wake up call to everyone.
I will certianly telling everyone I know the significance of this. Up to know it has only been ex-oil executives, academics and the like who are on record (or one person who stands out in my memory was a US general asked to look at what future scenarios the US military should plan for http://www.aspo-usa.com/assets/document ... cipice.pdf
A key point is the oil doesn't run out in 2015 - it just continues to get more expensive as there isn't enough to go around. So those EPC payback savings could be well underestimated, but you can't base them on future prices only current. But you can think about the fact that if energy prices double the payback will be halved.
What this also means is that someone can't use oil for something they had planned to do as there just ins;t the production capacity. Whether that's fly to Disneyland, drag a plow across a field, make little plastic toys, or drive to work will be down to market forces.
Remeber as oil prices increase so do gas, coal and even renewable energy - becuase people will still need the energy, for power going about their business. For me renewables are less important than efficiency savings. I've gone the full circle - and we need to work with what is avaiable right now from buildbase, B&Q, knauf, kingspan and the like, and wrap our houses up to get the energy demands as low as possible.
For my recently acquired 1960's house I've worked out that by fitting cavity wall insualtion, and external insulation, sorting the draughts, switching to heat recovery extractors, the heating demands will drop from 15kw down to 2.5kW - almost requiring no heating other than a back up log burner in the lounge. The walls go from a U value of 1.5, down to 0.16. The cost will be over £10,000 but it's much cheaper than fitting PV and or a heat pump and requires no ongoing energy to maintian the savings. Gas bills should come down from £1000 to £125. (That was worked out before the price rise).
Payback was 11 years and savings are better than leaving the money in an Tax Free ISA. That last point is something I'd like the efficiency industry to illustrate to homeowners. Especially ones who intend to stay put. (As you insualtion isn't as portable as savings accounts).
Volkswagen now sell "blue motion" cars across the range. They teaked the aerodynamics, changed the tyres, upgraded the suspension and put in thinner viscosity engine oil. Savings are pretty impressive withte Pole beng the first sensible car I've seen to get under 100 g/km and therefore no tax. MPG is around 75mpg. I'm waiting another month or so , as I expect them to bring out a 1.9Tdi estate, with the new 7 speed DSG box which knocks a futher 10% of their already low emmissions. They may even work some magic on that 1.9 tdi block. The new 1.4 Petrol TSI engine with DSG is almost better than the diesel!
Or if you're willing to hold on a bit longer. Toyota are rumorued to be brining out a 100MPG+ Prius next year, possbily with home charging facility and range up to 40 miles on electric only before the petrol engine has to take over. But like I said - that's not in showrooms right now. But it does seem feasible. Third party companies already sell repalcement battery packs for the current Prius, and lean burn engines could get 100+ MPG on their own. (without hybrid support). Did you about the Canadian Taxi drive who put 250,000 km on a Prius. Toyota bought it back off hime to see what could be improved. It shows the batteries are capable which has been a public concern on hybrids.
Anyway got to eat!