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GLOBAL RESOURCE DEPLETION:

THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES


Dr. Andr M. Diederen, Materials 2017, Veldhoven, The Netherlands, 1.06.2017
slide 1

CONTENTS
Energy scarcity
General resource scarcity

Metals scarcity

Global threats
Global opportunities

Threats to The Netherlands


Opportunities for The Netherlands

Concluding remarks
Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017
slide 2

ENERGY SCARCITY

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 3

SCARCITY IS DICTATED BY PRODUCTION RATE


Typical simplified production curve:

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 4

WORLD ENERGY

Source: ourfiniteworld.com, 30.01.2017 (based on BP 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy)

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 5

GDP GROWTH IS LINKED TO OIL PRODUCTION


GROWTH

Source: Charles A.S. Hall, Energy Return on Investment A Unifying Principle for Biology, Economics, and Sustainability,
Springer, 2017, ISBN 978-3-319-47820-3

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 6

NET ENERGY PER CAPITA: PLATEAU SINCE 1979


PLUS FORECAST

Source: Richard C. Duncan, The Olduvai Theory Energy, Population, and Industrial Civilization,
The Social Contract, Winter 2005-2006
Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017
slide 7

NET ENERGY CLIFF OR EXTENDED PLATEAU?

CSP: concentrated solar power


PV: photovoltaic

Source: Sgouridis, S., Csala, D., Bardi, U., The sowers way: quantifying the narrowing net-
energy pathways to a global energy transition, Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016) 094009, 7.09.2016
Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017
slide 8

ENERGY RETURN ON INVESTMENT: KEEPS


DROPPING

Source: Charles A.S. Hall, Energy


Return on Investment A Unifying
Principle for Biology, Economics,
and Sustainability, Springer, 2017,
ISBN 978-3-319-47820-3

10
Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017
slide 9

ENERGY IS THE PRIMARY RESOURCE


Money is useless without the energy to enable products and services

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 10

GENERAL RESOURCE
SCARCITY

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 11

ENERGY SCARCITY MEANS MATERIALS SCARCITY


VICE VERSA
Reinforcing feedback loop:
The energy sector as a whole is the largest metals consumer, so metals
scarcity aggravates energy scarcity whilst energy scarcity aggravates metals
scarcity

Energy harvesting from diluted forms of energy (like solar and wind) requires more
materials per unit of energy production than from fossil fuels

Energy scarcity also means food scarcity and scarcity of potable water

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 12

GLOBAL RESOURCE DEPLETION:


NO PERPETUAL GROWTH ON A FINITE PLANET

Original source: Dennis L. Meadows, The Limits To Growth


A Report for the Club of Romes Project on The Predicament
of Mankind (1972), accessed through the Dutch translation
Rapport van de Club van Rome, ISBN 9027452466, 1972

2017
Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017
slide 13

METALS SCARCITY

Further reading: Ugo Bardi, Extracted: How the


Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the
Planet, ISBN 978-1603585415, 2014

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 14

PHYSICAL RESOURCES ARE LIMITED


EXAMPLE: GOLD
all gold mined in human
history until now

Source: www.visualcapitalist.com, 28.02.2017


Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017
slide 15

DEPLETION: MORE AND MORE ENERGY NEEDED


PER UNIT OF PRIMARY PRODUCTION

EXAMPLE: GOLD

Source: srsroccoreport.com, 9.09.2013


Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017
slide 16

RELATIVE SCARCITY OF ELEMENTS


Relative scarcity is determined according to a combination of the following criteria:

global primary production rates (absolute and relative)

worldwide reserves (absolute and relative)

material properties which are difficult or impossible to substitute

complexity of primary production and dependence on production of other elements

asymmetry of the geographical distribution (geological and geopolitical factors)

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 17

RELATIVE SCARCITY OF ELEMENTS

Source: A.M. Diederen, Global Resource Depletion, Managed Austerity and the Elements of Hope, 2009 & 2010

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 18

GLOBAL THREATS

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 19

GLOBAL THREATS
Now:
Economic stagnation and contraction (started in 2008)
Stagnant wages and declining discretionary spending power
Growing income inequality

Coming decades (in case of business as usual):


Substantial decrease in standard of living
More (and bigger) failed states and sharply increased mass migrations
Increasing part of the world reverts to the right of the strongest
Incremental systemic collapse, parts of the world might revert to totalitarianism

Timing and impact will depend on where you live

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 20

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 21

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES
Use the leverage of complex adaptive systems to counter depletion and scarcity,
amongst others:
Buffers (build stockpiles)
there are no
Delays (use less, longer product lifetime)
solutions in
Reinforce balancing feedback loops (recycling, substitution)
isolation!
Neutralize reinforcing feedback loops (simplification)
Change the rules
(product and process (re)design, backsourcing of production)
Increase resilience:
Robustness
Further reading: Donella Meadows, Leverage
Redundancy Points Places to Intervene in a System (1999),
Resourcefulness accessed via thesolutionsjournal.com/node/419,
October 2009
Response
Recovery
Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017
slide 22

THREATS TO
THE NETHERLANDS
(IN ADDITION TO GLOBAL THREATS)

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 23

THE NETHERLANDS WILL LIKELY BECOME A NET


GAS IMPORTER BEFORE 2020

Source: The colours of energy,


Shell International BV,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
2015, ISBN 978-90-823984-0-3

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 24

THE RIGHT OF THE STRONGEST BECOMES A


DOMINANT FACTOR DEPENDENCE ON
INTERNATIONAL TRADE BECOMES A THREAT

imports exports

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 25

OPPORTUNITIES FOR
THE NETHERLANDS

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 26

COUNTERMEASURES TO THREAT
Threat to international trade: in a worse than zero sum game world, the global
economy contracts and the right of the strongest becomes a dominant factor

Countermeasures to this threat to international trade:

Actively support and strengthen all relevant international organizations


(EU, WTO, NATO, ....) to enforce playing by the rules
Intelligent resource use and stocks & buffers to diminish our vulnerability to supply
interruptions (imports) and to prolong our ability to continue exports at desired levels

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 27

COUNTERMEASURES TO THREAT / OPPORTUNITIES:


INTELLIGENT RESOURCE USE, EXAMPLES:
Emphasis on the application of the Elements of Hope, e.g.:
strong permanent magnets based on Mn, Al and C
photovoltaics based on amorphous silicon without exotic doping
optoelectronics based on ferro silicides
Metamaterials (linked to 3D printing) where the micro-/nano-structure is
dominant over intrinsic elemental properties

example of a pentamode metamaterial


(source: Kadic et al, 2012)

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 28

OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE NETHERLANDS


See global opportunities (leverage of complex adaptive systems)
Become one of Europes champions in a true recycling economy
Exploit our position as a logistic hub, where large streams of resources, humans and
information flow through and interact
Exploit the availability of an excellent eco-system of infrastructure, public
administration, skilled labour, education, industry, business services and R&T
organizations
The Netherlands ranks within the top-10 of most competitive economies in the world
pole position to make this happen

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 29

THE NETHERLANDS AS A PRIME LOGISTICS HUB

source: www.investinholland.com

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 30

THE NETHERLANDS AS ONE OF THE MOST


INNOVATIVE ECONOMIES WORLDWIDE

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 31

CONCLUDING REMARKS
Peter Drucker: The best way to predict the future is to create it
Military wisdom: 1. accept the situation, 2. make a plan and 3. act accordingly
Great political leaders: 1. gather all available information, 2. draw up a time table
and 3. act accordingly.
Precautionary principle / least regrets options
Invest in productive assets instead of consumption (and emphasize humans over
dead stuff)
Charles Darwin: It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most
intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 32

TECHNICALLY THE GLASS IS ALWAYS FULL

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


slide 33

THERE ARE NO SOLUTIONS IN ISOLATION ....

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017


THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION
andre.diederen@tno.nl

The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research


Technical Sciences - Force Protection
Explosions, Ballistics & Protection

Rijswijk & Ypenburg (The Hague), The Netherlands


REFERENCES

Charles A.S. Hall, Energy Return on Investment A Unifying Principle for Biology, Economics, and Sustainability, Springer,
2017, ISBN 978-3-319-47820-3
Richard C. Duncan, The Olduvai Theory Energy, Population, and Industrial Civilization, The Social Contract, Winter 2005-2006
Sgouridis, S., Csala, D., Bardi, U., The sowers way: quantifying the narrowing net-energy pathways to a global energy transition,
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016) 094009, 7.09.2016
Charles A.S. Hall, Energy Return on Investment A Unifying Principle for Biology, Economics, and Sustainability, Springer,
2017, ISBN 978-3-319-47820-3
Dennis L. Meadows, The Limits To Growth A Report for the Club of Romes Project on The Predicament of Mankind (1972),
accessed through the Dutch translation Rapport van de Club van Rome, ISBN 9027452466, 1972
Ugo Bardi, Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet, ISBN 978-1603585415, 2014
A.M. Diederen, Metal minerals scarcity: A call for managed austerity and the elements of hope,
http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/5239, 2009
A.M. Diederen, Global Resource Depletion, Managed Austerity and the Elements of Hope, Eburon Academic Publishers, Delft,
The Netherlands, ISBN 978-90-5972-425-9, 2010
Donella Meadows, Leverage Points Places to Intervene in a System (1999), accessed via thesolutionsjournal.com/node/419,
October 2009
Markus A. Reuter, Digitalizing the Circular Economy, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B, December 2016

Global Resource Depletion: Threats and Opportunities 1.06.2017