An optimistic outlook on negotiations between Iran and other countries in the Persian Gulf has bolstered views that oil prices may be coming down.
An article on Bloomberg explains:
U.S. oil prices may fall next week on speculation negotiations between Iran and world powers over the Persian Gulf nation’s nuclear program will reduce tension, a Bloomberg News survey of 33 analysts and traders showed.
Brent futures traded above $128 a barrel last month as Iran threatened to shut the Strait of Hormuz, a transit route for a fifth of the world’s crude, in retaliation against international sanctions. The European Union plans to ban the transportation, purchase, financing and insurance of Iranian oil from July 1.
However, if you look at the longer span of oil prices, it has continued to go upward over the decades even in the face of developments in renewable energy. This track will continue and as prices go higher, alternative fuels begin to look better and better.
For the Philippines which imports most of its fuel, it would seem that the best way to go is to wean itself away from its dependence on imported fossil fuels and develop renewable alternative fuel sources.
The most viable alternative fuel, so far, is biodiesel made from waste-vegetable-oil or used cooking oil.
It is at least 10 percent cheaper than regular diesel, but to realize substantial savings in fuel costs, one must opt for a higher mix of biodiesel — a move that may cause some concern for a great number of car owners.
Currently, the most popular blend is B10 or B20 or a mix of 10 to 20 percent Biodisel with 90 to 80 percent regular diesel. To realize the full 10 percent savings in fuel costs, one has to think about going for B100 (1o0 percent biodiesel) or at least B50 (50% biodiesel).
Car owners are concerned that a drastic move to fill their tanks with a 100 percent Biodiesel may cause problems with their engines. This despite the huge amount of information provided by car owners who are already using B100.
The issue is not so much of a lack of technical information regarding B100, but more psychological in certain instances.
Even test runs conducted by Eway54 with jeepney operators yielded a mix of observations, some of which were not too positive.
Although on the whole, jeepney operators experienced their engines giving off less black soot and an increase in power, they also experienced a slightly higher consumption.
Technicians running the Eway54 project with jeepney operators investigated the observation and found out that the slight increase in consumption to the cleaning action of the biodiesel on fuel injectors.
Despite the explanation, the jeepney operators still chose to switch back to regular diesel — a move that isn’t surprising at all.
Given a choice between regular diesel to which they are used to and biodiesel, jeepney operators explained their decision two switch back based on hiyang or familiarity.
In any case, in the decades ahead or may be sooner, the choice between fossil fuels and alternative fuels may not be that easy to make. It is only a matter of time before either the supply or production of fossil fuels goes down for a number of reasons or global warming gets to a point where operating on fossil fuels finally sends the earth gasping — if it already isn’t.
Pretty soon, the choices won’t be there and it’s better to switch-over to the alternative sooner than having to scramble for a solution later.