Peak oil is not the solution to the energy problem, but a representation of the problem. It may prove to stimulate solutions to the "environmental problem" created by centuries of careless consumption of fossil fuels. In the interim while alternative energy sources suited to transportation are developed, I believe we will see reduction of wastage and quantum leaps in efficiency - many of which technologies can be carried over to non-transportation energy sectors.Gruntguru 09:30, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
While demand is rising, due to greater industrialisation and consumerism, the rate of new finds is no longer keeping up with it, and as existing fields are depleted, we will face a shortage, the question is no longer if, but when.
Oil usage may be capped by increasing prices, and supply may be propped up by prospecting in areas previously considered too environmentally sensitive, but by the time it is really clear that we have crossed the peak, it may be too late to research alternatives. Many commentators are now saying we have reached peak oil. Only soaring prices will reveal whether this is actually the case, as marginal fields and extraction methods become viable at the higher prices.Gruntguru 09:30, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
References: The Hydrogen Economy by Jeremy Rifkin, has an easy to read section on Peak oil.