Speculation on the uncertainty in the Middle East has once again fueled oil prices to their highest levels since 2008. While Libya only contributes 2 percent to the global crude oil production, it is a major regional player. Libya is Africa's third-largest crude producer and has the largest oil reserves in Africa, approximately 44 billion barrels. The world consumes 87.5 million barrels of oil per day.
Crude oil prices are hovering around US$95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude hit $106 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange. As these price increases work through the supply chain we expect to see gasoline prices continue to rise. World economies continue to gain momentum, and energy consumption is expected to increase. Don’t be surprised if gasoline hits $4 per gallon in the US this summer. As long as the price of crude oil does not reach $150 a barrel, Semico Research Corp. believes the economic recovery will continue.
As for semiconductors, higher energy prices are always a concern as products have to be moved around the world from production to assembly to store shelves. Semico’s IPI index has been declining since midyear 2010, raising our worries about the strength of the semiconductor market in the second half of 2011.
There continues to be much excitement around new entries into the tablet market, Android-based cellphones, and increased capabilities of the wireless network with 4G deployment. We continue to be cautiously optimistic that the semiconductor market will show 8 percent growth in 2011 and expect 2012 to be the year when the semiconductor industry actually sidesteps a major downturn and will experience a soft landing.
From seventy’s onwards, scientists are trying to consider hydrogen as a promising alternative for petrol because of its clean combustion nature. Unlike hydrocarbon based fuels (petrol), which spew green house gases and harmful pollutants, hydrogen’s only combustion by-product is water. Compared to gasoline, hydrogen is lightweight and can provide a higher energy density and is readily available in atmosphere or can be generated manually. But any type of research had not happened in similar line because of certain reason like hydrogen storage technology, combustion method etc
In recent years, researchers have attempted to address both this issues by locking hydrogen into solids, packing larger quantities into smaller volumes with low reactivity keeping this volatile gas stable. However, most of these solids can only absorb a small amount of hydrogen and require extreme heating or cooling to boost their efficiency.
Now, scientists with the US Department of Energy have designed a new composite material for hydrogen storage consisting of nano particles of magnesium metal sprinkled through a matrix a polymer related to Plexiglas. This nano-composite rapidly absorbs and releases hydrogen at modest temperatures without oxidizing the metal after cycling, which is a major breakthrough in materials design for hydrogen storage, batteries and fuel cells.
It is really a good suggestion and step in a time like this to start exploring other sources of energies.
it's not that our scientists and engineers are not aware of this or the implication of total dependency on Oil but the requirements for putting other sources of energies to work is too great when compared with Oil and that might also leads to handling more delicate and sophisticated gargets to be able to use this alternative energies.
I totally agree (hard to dispute) that dependance on foreign oil supply is both economically and strategically problematic. And we absolutely do need to invest in research of new sources of energy producing technology. However, I think a risk analysis based on the current and projected levels of energy consumption would probably show that we place our energy supply line at great risk by depending solely on undiscovered or unproven technoogies in the short term, without also investing in known/proven sources as well. I have heard the statistic that 70% of our electricilty is still produced from fossil fuels. This statistic needs to move to domenstic sources of energy in order for electric cars to gain the most leverage against oil imports, otherwise it is at least in part just a shell game where the oil consumption moves from the auto to the electric plant. Production of hydrogen gas requires electricity as well. It would be interesting to see someone apply a risk analysis approach to energy supply and develop some comclusions on short term and long term recommendations for energy investment and research.
Whenever there is an oil price hike or something turns badly in Middle East countries, it’s observed that most of the peoples and industries are much talking and sharing their concerns about oil. Perhaps, in most of the time it becomes a hot topic for international discussion with the rest of world.
In my personal opinion, we still didn’t learn any lessons from the past Iran-Iraq or Iraq-Kuwait war. That’s why still we are depending up on the Middle East countries for most of our energy (oil) requirements. Why can’t we try to explore other sources of energy? Why most of our scientists and research engineers are NOT trying to find the application for alternate source of energy’s like solar, water oxygen, hydrogen etc. Why can’t we develop some engines which can take water, oxygen or hydrogen as fuel?
Such innovations can make a rapid transaction in future like the innovation of electricity by Benjamin Franklin (1752) and electric motor by Faraday (1821). But one thing is dam sure; there should be always a political instability in this region, due to different political reasons. So the rest of world should take care about their energy requirements and its all depends up on how they are going to address it.
Technologies have now matured and mined to where soft/hardware & electrical/electronic revolutinary trend will soon catchup with automobile sector. Though, vehicle technology is being around for a while. We have seen hybrid vehicles power by both combustible oil engine and battery pack or bank of batteries for long. Now, electric vehicles market flooding may not take long, this will at least calming down upsurge pump prices every now and then.Shall we say beginning of next year, even every auto manufacturer is bracing up for the evolution.
Oil dominance in powering vehicles is very ephemeral.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the total of all the green technologies will be sufficient either in terms of the amount of energy produced, or in terms of economic feasilbility. We need to also be pursuing domestic oil and natural gas production, modern nuclear facilities, burning of waste products for energy, and clean coal facilities. Different regions of the country can benefit from the technology and resources that are available in that region.
It is great to see the push on for electric vehicles. It has been a long time coming though, and I think it will remain to be a long time before we see any significant decrease in the world's need for oil. In the meantime we will continue to pay higher prices for all our products.
I believe with intense research activities being undertaking on alternative & renewable energy as well as roadmap on smart grid technology. Dependency on oil will come down gradually even with the incessant crisis in major oil producing states. Meanwhile, it was also predicted that millions of Electric Vehicles will be on the roads in 2011.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.