Archive for the ‘Analysis’ Category

The Canadian Petroleum Paradigm

February 9, 2010

The graphic above gives a representation of the typical petroleum consumption of Canada over a year while the one below gives an idea of the current annual output of the Alberta oil sands in order to gauge the general productivity of such a site.

The graph below plots out the changing trends in sources of energy as the petroleum paradigm becomes less and less viable. Relying mostly on the typical crops of soy and corn, biofuel represents a proportionately small part of the global energy supply considering its already huge negative impact on food production.

In order to meet just 10% of Canada’s domestic fuel needs (meaning none available for trade) 36% of the nations existing farmland would have to be changed over to the production of biodiesel. Again, this is based on the yield of typical crops such as corn and soy beans.

However, there are more productive sources for the oils needed for biodiesel that not only offer a potential greater efficiency but also suggest a new type of production and supporting infrastructure that would not interfere with agricultural processes within Canada.

The graphic above gives a relative comparison of the different crops used in the production of biodiesel around the world. Algae offers the potential for a substantially higher yield than the others even in the case of the less productive strains.