Planck Foundation



We totally under-estimate the massive energy use of our current mobility. This due to the still low gas prices on the pumps and low priced aviation tickets. The year 2008 has showed us that this perception is very fragile. In 2008 suddenly we saw the energy use of our mobility. Mobility = Energy. Today we again totally don't get the loads fossil energy give us against low prices and therefore we think mobility is just mobility and are forgotten than mobility is just loads of energy. Due it's historical low price of energy we used mobility abundant. There work related and leisure related car mobility. There is work related and leisure related air travel. As energy prices rise air travel is the first victim (due to the fact that it consumes a lot of jet fuel per trip). Regarding to leisure air travel: Decline it will not harm the rich regions (more purchase power is not exported, but less spending of foreigners), but will harm the poor strong on tourism depending regions in the world. Regions with mainly on air travel based tourism will face severe economic decline. Regarding to business air travel: the internet will take over a lot of the former business related airtravel. Conventions are typical 20th century, the internet in all its wideness has deliver a lot of cheap/faster/better initiatives (email, msm, facebook, skype, webpages, etc). Videocalling /videomeeting will replace a lot of the one-to-one and small group meetings that earlier demand on business air travel. The Western World has passed its PeakEnergyUse momentum and both increased efficiency, low energy alternatives, economic decline and increased on premises renewable harvesting will result in each lower the energy use each year. The Western World has passed PeakMobility. China has become the biggest car manufacturer. China has become the biggest domestic car market. China has purchase power. The Western World has debts. For the Western World it was really a party, but the party is coming to its end (Richard Heinberg: Several opinions tells us that the travel time has stayed the same, but we just keep searching housing and work at a time budget variable that differences by personal preferences. Mobility is just about purchase power. Travel times will reduce as traffic congestion will decline due to higher energy prices. In the times of cheap oil the distance home/work was just a matter of daily time budget considerations. This will change. The price of mobility will rise sharply due to sharp rising energy prices. We will travel a lot less due to more expensive energy prices. Mobility = Energy is true. We just will have less energy, so we will travel less. Mobility demand involves the reverse sum of energy prices. We will seek alternatives. We will videocall, we will videomeet, we will use remote desktop technology (or it better, newer brother XML based office technology), we will go on holiday without planes. Higher energy prices will reduce distances/reach. Energy is Mobility is a doubtful statement.

Author: Gijs Graafland

Back to index page of Energy Politics

Download the full Energy Politics report in PDF

Planck Foundation