It’s not an economic crisis it’s an energy crisis

deRuijter021109E bait and switch

Actually its this:


Did you notice the glaring outlier? Iceland.

You thought Iceland was doing OK now, well you are right, firstly  they jailed the bankers and told the fraudsters they were not going to underwrite the gambling losses of the finance class.

Secondly and most importantly Iceland is the 13th largest Aluminum exporter in the world. Aluminum is a strange material in the fact that the only way to refine it from ore is the addition of vast amounts of electrical energy. Aluminum is very common in the earths crust, almost any random rock you pick up will contain aluminum in some form. Almost any country could become a serious aluminum producer if they had enough cheap energy available. Each kilogram of Aluminum produced contains the energy equivalent of 6.22 barrels of oil or an average lightning strike.  So a country that exports aluminum is really exporting electricity or more broadly speaking energy. I’m quite sure that this image dose not take into account the amount of energy in the form of aluminum being exported. Iceland is blessed with a small population and significant geothermal energy resources an the capacity to build hydro dams because of its short steep rivers.

Aluminum prices did in fact double following the financial crisis, showing that it was in actual fact and energy crisis.

So long term Iceland’s economy has good fundamentals, good energy sources in a world of uncertain energy security.

The most recent and controversial aluminum smelter in Iceland actually built its own 600MW hydro dam which had a larger capacity that the entire national grid, just to make its own electricity for refining.

Worldwide peak oil was in 2008 this of course coincided with the global financial crisis this is no surprise, these events are very much interconnected, consider how much your current industrial revolution based lifestyle is dependent on oil.

Oil transports the fertilizer, plows the field, plants the seeds, harvests the grain, powers the truck that drives it to your town or city and then it powers your car when you drive to go and buy it. So obviously shortages of oil in the future will drive up costs and drive down profits, chaos is guaranteed when the speculators find out about this. And that’s what happened.

Q: Why is no one talking about an energy crisis?

A: The same reason they don’t scream fire in a crowded theater when the doors are locked.

Peak oil: It’s when a civilization ‘jumps the shark’, close to the end of ‘happy days’

Posted on June 6, 2013, in Economics & Finance, Energy, Peak Oil, Physical resources and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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