Apr 29, 2024 - Energy & Environment

On my screen: Oil demand and mining

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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

🛢️ Veteran oil analyst Arjun Murti has another reason to be skeptical of peak oil: surprisingly resilient demand in advanced economies, Ben writes.

  • The big picture: "OECD demand, which we agree is mature and we had thought could decline, is actually showing greater stability in 2024 than originally expected," he writes in a new post.
  • Why it matters: That potential plateau (rather than an outright decline) would do less to offset rising demand in developing nations, where per-capita oil use is comparatively quite small. Full analysis.

⛏️ A new Breakthrough Institute report puts some numbers to mining volumes needed for climate-friendly power compared with fossil fuels.

  • Why it matters: Copper and other materials (like uranium for nuclear) required for "clean" energy are a major ecological concern, but comparison with carbon-based fuels is helpful.
  • What they found: The "extractive footprint" of conventional coal-fired power, per unit of electricity created, is 20 times greater than clean sources, and gas is twice as high. Among these climate-friendly sources, nuclear requires the least raw materials relative to power output.
  • Go deeper: Full report...MIT Technology Review coverage.
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