10 Reasons to Build Resilience
Helping local and regional government build more resilient and robust communities to thrive in a changing world…
Resilience has become a buzzword, with civic organisations, think tanks, community groups, corporations and local business addressing potential risks. A system is said to be resilient if it has the capacity to defend against, adapt to and repair itself after disturbances. Resilience can also be defined as the, “ability of the system to evolve in order to accommodate environmental hazards or policy change and to expand the range of variability with which it can cope.”
Energy, economy and environment are all highly correlated, yet as a society we fail to understand how these are inextricably linked. Unfortunately much of our thinking is compartmentalised and the broader picture is not well understood. Before we can take positive action and make real change we must understand the challenges and the realities based on facts and evidence based research.
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Rethinking the Future...
A Guide to Understanding Liquid Fuel Challanges and Moving Toward Stronger More Resilient Communities.
This paper explores one of the lesser known challenges which is currently, and will, increasingly impact communities, businesses and organisations over the coming years. While there has been much debate and public discourse around climate change, there has been relatively minimal public discussion and understanding of the challenges of resource depletion. Resource depletion or more specifically, the ‘peaking of oil’ will have far reaching and unpredictable consequences for society in the coming years. Peak Oil is the theoretical date where global oil production starts on a relentless decline into the future.
The Hirsch Report - 'Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, and Risk Management'
Was created by request for the US Department of Energy. The report was published in 2005. It examined the potential time frame for the occurrence of the peaking of world oil production. The report discussed the likely impacts of peaking and outlined timeliness of those actions.
"The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking." Robert Hirsch
The Australian Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) Report, 2009
The 474 page document, by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, in Canberra, details oil producing regions. It tables production capabilities, opportunities and threats for the global economy. The report is lucid in outlining, “when an aggregation is done across the globe, it is predicted that world production of conventional oil is currently past its highest point (conventional oil is oil pumped from wells on land or in water less than 500 metres deep). A predicted shallow decline in the short run should give way to a steeper decline after 2016.” With other non-conventional production growing in the short term, the longer outlook “suggests after 2017 global oil production will enter a new phase or ‘drop-off.’ The report suggests that at “some point beyond 2017” there must be some effort to replace oil as and energy source.
UK Energy Research Centre
Consistent with other reports the UK research suggests decline rates are on an upward trend. As a result, more than two thirds of current crude oil production capacity may need to be replaced by 2030, simply to prevent production from falling. At best, this is likely to prove extremely challenging. In summary the report suggests: “The risks presented by global oil depletion deserve much more serious attention by the research and policy communities. Much of the existing research focuses upon the economic and political threats to oil supply security and fails to either assess or to effectively integrate the risks presented by physical depletion. This has meant that the probability and consequences of different outcomes has not been adequately assessed.
On the basis of current evidence the report suggests that a peak of conventional oil production before 2030 appears likely and there is a significant risk of a peak before 2020. Given the lead times required to both develop substitute fuels and improve energy efficiency, this risk needs to be given serious consideration.”
‘The Next Oil Shock’, New Zealand Parliament Research Paper
This paper provided an overview of the global oil market. In particular, it examined the outlook for oil supply and demand over the next five years, and the economic consequences. It outlined how low-cost reserves of oil are being rapidly exhausted, forcing oil companies to turn to more expensive sources of oil. This replacement of low-cost sources of oil with higher costs sources is driving the price of oil higher.
The paper outlines how New Zealand is heavily dependent on oil imports and will remain so for the foreseeable future. While there is potential to substantially increase domestic production, domestic oil
production cannot insulate New Zealand from global oil price shocks because New Zealand pays the world price for goods like oil. It also highlighted there is a risk that the world economy may be at the start of a cycle of supply crunches leading to price spikes and recessions, followed by recoveries leading to supply crunches.