Thursday, February 09, 2006

Oil Free

First it was Iceland announcing its plans to free itself from its "oil addiction" and now Sweden has followed suit, with Brazil also aiming to run 80% of its vehicles on ethanol within five years. Iceland is aiming to use water- turning it into hydrogen to run its vehicles. The cost of running such an engine (hydrogen fuel) is three times more expensive than using petrol- but it does get three times the mileage, evening out the costs. And that tip towards hydrogen can only increase as oil prices continue their rise. Only a few years ago the price of diesel here in the UK was about 65p per litre. It's now risen to about 95p. The price seems set to rise over the major barrier of £1 per litre any time now. Home heating oil is also vastly more expensive- my own yearly cost has risen by a fraction over £200.

The main opposition to alternatives in the initial cost of switching over- I'd love to swap out my oil fired central heating for a wood-chip burner but the cost is putting me off. As more times passes, however, and oil prices continue to rise- and the ongoing trouble in the Middle East seems set to continue and perhaps worsen- that cost will not be so great- and more and more people will change from running their homes and cars on oil.

It'll be interesting to see how the Middle East holds out when the vast majority of the world no longer needs their oil.

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