It is possible that we’re past peak oil. Predicting the future is a necessary yet futile part of civilization. The current projections reflect a possible significant change. Previous predictions expected oil demand to continue to increase forever, which is more of an extrapolation of habits than an assessment of reality because the planet has limits. Thanks to the increased use of renewable energy, lifestyles that are shifting from the real to the virtual world, and a general awareness of climate change, the demand for oil and other fossil fuels is expected to remain near last year’s levels, or decrease. Under some scenarios, our current oil consumption of about 192 exajoules could drop by ~50% by 2040 while renewables increase to providing 296 exajoules. Other fossil fuels are also expected to follow the trend. As mentioned before, an increase in renewable’s technology and adoption can decrease their prices, which can reduce the demand and supplier base for the relatively technologically-stagnant fossil fuels thereby increasing their per-consumer cost.
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