KENT PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Monday 15th December 2008 - 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 07747 036192
KENT AND PEAK OIL
The International Energy Agency has admitted for the first time that it expects global oil supplies to peak by 2020 (1). This is up to 14 years later than expected by other organisations and researchers(2). This has both negative and positive implications for Kent. Steve Dawe outlines some key examples of both:
“Peak oil means that cheap, accessible oil is no longer obtainable and that remaining oil supplies will be more expensive. In Kent, it means that plans for airport expansion at Manston, Lydd and Rochester should be mothballed. Plans to expand Dover Eastern Docks should be shelved as rising fuel costs and recession will diminish shipping. The China Gateway warehousing project in Thanet will cease to be viable as the costs of moving freight rise steadily. Plans for housing in and around Ashford and the Thames Gateway need to scaled down in favour of the cheaper option of using the County’s c24,000 empty properties, and derelict sites (3). Out of town shopping centres, already feeling the pinch in the recession, will be less profitable as people seek goods closer to home to save on petrol costs.
“The good news is that peak oil will encourage energy efficiency and more use of town centres. New electric cars are becoming widely available which will cut air pollution and traffic noise. Because oil prices influence rail ticket prices, more people will seek to work at home – allowing more time for partners and family life. The boom in internet businesses will continue. Local food production, sale and processing within Kent will be boosted as food from elsewhere becomes too expensive to consider. The expansion of energy efficiency and renewable energy for homes and businesses will bring construction workers back into work. All of these initiatives will help the country out of recession. There is only one problem. The major denier of Peak Oil as a problem in the UK is our own Government, meaning it is unprepared for the kind of Green industrial revolution the country needs to meet the challenges of the current recession.”
FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe on 01732 355185 or 0845 257 4236 or mobile 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Steve Dawe is on the Green Party list for the European Elections due in June 2009.
1. See The Guardian – article, editorial and interview in supplement 15th December 2008. See also IEA website: http://www.iea.org/
2. Peak Oil Task Force report suggests 2013: http://peakoil.solarcentury.com/ ; a 2005 report to the US Government suggests 2006-2016: http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/others/pdf/Oil_Peaking_NETL.pdf The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas suggested a peak of 2009 in its first report, a figure consistent with a similar report by Exxon: http://www.peakoil.net/ Transport researchers Gilbert and Perl suggest the best available evidence gives an end to cheap, accessible oil at about 2012: Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl – Transport Revolutions: moving people and freight without oil (Earthscan, 2008).
3. Estimates of empty properties in Kent include about 18,000 homes and 6000 industrial buildings which could potentially be converted to housing. However, these figures under-state the availability of brownfield sites which could be used for housing including empty sites in industrial estates all over Kent.