Dr Steve Mohr is an Associate with the Institute for Sustainable Futures specialising in data analysis, forecasting resource depletion, analytical and numerical modeling, and the evaluation of energy and water savings pilot programs.
Steve has a PhD in fossil fuel supply, and has used his Mathematic and Engineering skills to developed Geologic Resource Supply-Demand Model (GeRS-DeMo) which is capable of replicating supply and demand of resources extracted from mining methods and oil and gas from fields. A version of the model is avaialbe on the ISF web site: GeRS-DeMo - or Geologic Resource Supply-Demand Model
Steve previously worked for Prof. Geoffrey Evans at the University of Newcastle investigating future phosphorus production for the world by country using GeRS-DeMo. Steve also worked with Dr Gavin Mudd at Monash University as part of the Peak Minerals Cluster investigating world lithium supply and demand, as well as gold and nickel production in the Goldfield Esperance region of Western Australia.
When Steve worked at ISF as a Senior Research Consultant, he primarily focused on evaluating the energy and/or water savings from pilot programs. In particular he worked on evaluation projects such as the OEH Home Power Savings Program, Endeavour Energy efficiency programs, ACEW AGL and Hunter Water Save Water Initiatives. A key component of this evaluation work is collating large datasets of either customer billing data or smart meter data from a range of sources and critically analysing the compiled datasets to glean statistically significant information. Steve has specific experience with smart meter data analysis, having completed projects with Hunter Water Corp and Endeavour Energy analysing smart meter data consumption data. Steve also assisted in refining existing water and energy models and associated analysis and designing new resource models.
Steve is passionate about phosphorus recovery research and he worked with Dr Dana Cordell to develop a model of phosphorus supplies and demand.
Steve Mohr's PhD is available here
Can supervise: YES
Mohr, S, Giurco, D, Retamal, M, Mason, L & Mudd, G 2018, 'Global projection of lead-zinc supply from known resources', Resources, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1-15.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 by the authors. Lead and zinc are used extensively in the construction and automotive industries, and require sustainable supply. In order to understand the future availability of lead and zinc, we have projected global supplies on a country-by-country basis from a detailed global assessment of mineral resources for 2013. The model GeRS-DeMo was used to create projections of lead and zinc production from ores, as well as recycling for lead. Our modelling suggests that lead and zinc production from known resources is set to peak within 15 years (lead 2025, zinc 2031). For lead, the total supply declines relatively slowly post peak due to recycling. If additional resources are found, these peaks would shift further into the future. These results suggest that lead and zinc consumers will need to plan for the future, potentially by: seeking alternative supplies (e.g., mine tailings, smelter/refinery slags); obtaining additional value from critical metals contained in lead-zinc ore deposits to counter lower grade ores; identifying potential substitutes; redesigning their products; or by contributing to the development of recycling industries.
Quilcaille, Y, Gasser, T, Ciais, P, Lecocq, F, Janssens-Maenhout, G & Mohr, S 2018, 'Uncertainty in projected climate change arising from uncertain fossil-fuel emission factors', Environmental Research Letters, vol. 13, no. 4.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Emission inventories are widely used by the climate community, but their uncertainties are rarely accounted for. In this study, we evaluate the uncertainty in projected climate change induced by uncertainties in fossil-fuel emissions, accounting for non-CO2 species co-emitted with the combustion of fossil-fuels and their use in industrial processes. Using consistent historical reconstructions and three contrasted future projections of fossil-fuel extraction from Mohr et al we calculate CO2 emissions and their uncertainties stemming from estimates of fuel carbon content, net calorific value and oxidation fraction. Our historical reconstructions of fossil-fuel CO2 emissions are consistent with other inventories in terms of average and range. The uncertainties sum up to a ±15% relative uncertainty in cumulative CO2 emissions by 2300. Uncertainties in the emissions of non-CO2 species associated with the use of fossil fuels are estimated using co-emission ratios varying with time. Using these inputs, we use the compact Earth system model OSCAR v2.2 and a Monte Carlo setup, in order to attribute the uncertainty in projected global surface temperature change (T) to three sources of uncertainty, namely on the Earth system's response, on fossil-fuel CO2 emission and on non-CO2 co-emissions. Under the three future fuel extraction scenarios, we simulate the median T to be 1.9, 2.7 or 4.0 °C in 2300, with an associated 90% confidence interval of about 65%, 52% and 42%. We show that virtually all of the total uncertainty is attributable to the uncertainty in the future Earth system's response to the anthropogenic perturbation. We conclude that the uncertainty in emission estimates can be neglected for global temperature projections in the face of the large uncertainty in the Earth system response to the forcing of emissions. We show that this result does not hold for all variables of the climate system, such as the atmosp...
Liu, A, Giurco, D, Mukheibir, P, Mohr, S, Watkins, G & White, S 2017, 'Online water-use feedback: household user interest, savings and implications', Urban Water Journal, vol. 14, no. 9, pp. 900-907.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper reports on the short- and long-term impacts of online water-use feedback provided via a smart metering trial involving 120 households in New South Wales, Australia. Near-real time water consumption feedback was provided via an online portal to half of the sample. Water consumption was uniquely analysed one year pre- and post-intervention, and in conjunction with login data. During one year of available access, the intervention group saved an overall average of 24.1 litres per household per day (L/hh/d) (4.2%). Regression analysis showed the significant savings of active users related specifically to portal login activity. Significant short-term effects persisted for 42 days, averaging at 63.1 L/hh/d. The article discusses the implications for research and practice, including a consideration of how, in addition to providing ongoing access, online portals could be leveraged further by water authorities to help meet urgent short-term supply constraints such as in drought.
Neset, T, Cordell, DJ, Mohr, S, Van Riper, F & White, S 2016, 'Visualizing alternative phosphorus scenarios for future food security', Frontiers in Nutrition, vol. 3, no. 47.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The impact of global phosphorus scarcity on food security has increasingly been the focus of scientific studies over the past decade. However, systematic analyses of alternative futures for phosphorus supply and demand throughout the food system are still rare and provide limited inclusion of key stakeholders. Addressing global phosphorus scarcity requires an integrated approach exploring potential demand reduction as well as recycling opportunities. This implies recovering phosphorus from multiple sources, such as food waste, manure and excreta, as well as exploring novel opportunities to reduce the long-term demand for phosphorus in food production such as changing diets. Presently, there is a lack of stakeholder and scientific consensus around priority measures. To therefore enable exploration of multiple pathways and facilitate a stakeholder dialogue on the technical, behavioral and institutional changes required to meet long-term future phosphorus demand, this paper introduces an interactive web-based tool, designed for visualizing global phosphorus scenarios in real-time. The interactive global phosphorus scenario tool builds on several demand and supply side measures that can be selected and manipulated interactively by the user. It provides a platform to facilitate stakeholder dialogue to plan for a soft landing and identify a suite of concrete priority options, such as investing in agricultural phosphorus use efficiency, or renewable fertilizers derived from phosphorus recovered from wastewater and food waste, to determine how phosphorus demand to meet future food security could be attained on a global scale in 2040 and 2070. This paper presents four example scenarios, including (1) the potential of full recovery of human excreta, (2) the challenge of a potential increase in non-food phosphorus demand, (3) the potential of a decreased animal product consumption, and (4) the potential decrease in phosphorus demand from increased efficiency and yield gains...
Wang, J, Mohr, S, Feng, L, Liu, H & Tverberg, GE 2016, 'Analysis of resource potential for China's unconventional gas and forecast for its long-term production growth', Energy Policy, vol. 88, pp. 389-401.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. China is vigorously promoting the development of its unconventional gas resources because natural gas is viewed as a lower-carbon energy source and because China has relatively little conventional natural gas supply. In this paper, we first evaluate how much unconventional gas might be available based on an analysis of technically recoverable resources for three types of unconventional gas resources: shale gas, coalbed methane and tight gas. We then develop three alternative scenarios of how this extraction might proceed, using the Geologic Resources Supply Demand Model. Based on our analysis, the medium scenario, which we would consider to be our best estimate, shows a resource peak of 176.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2068. Depending on economic conditions and advance in extraction techniques, production could vary greatly from this. If economic conditions are adverse, unconventional natural gas production could perhaps be as low as 70.1 bcm, peaking in 2021. Under the extremely optimistic assumption that all of the resources that appear to be technologically available can actually be recovered, unconventional production could amount to as much as 469.7 bcm, with peak production in 2069. Even if this high scenario is achieved, China's total gas production will only be sufficient to meet China's lowest demand forecast. If production instead matches our best estimate, significant amounts of natural gas imports are likely to be needed.
Ward, J, Sutton, P, Werner, A, Costanza, R, Mohr, SH & Simmons, C 2016, 'Is Decoupling GDP Growth from Environmental Impact Possible?', PLoS One, vol. 11, no. 10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The argument that human society can decouple economic growth—defined as growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—from growth in environmental impacts is appealing. If such decoupling is possible, it means that GDP growth is a sustainable societal goal. Here we show that the decoupling concept can be interpreted using an easily understood model of economic growth and environmental impact. The simple model is compared to historical data and modelled projections to demonstrate that growth in GDP ultimately cannot be decoupled from growth in material and energy use. It is therefore misleading to develop growth-oriented policy around the expectation that decoupling is possible. We also note that GDP is increasingly seen as a poor proxy for societal wellbeing. GDP growth is therefore a questionable societal goal. Society can sustainably improve wellbeing, including the wellbeing of its natural assets, but only by discarding GDP growth as the goal in favor of more comprehensive measures of societal wellbeing.
Mohr, S, Giurco, D, Yellishetty, M, Ward, J & Mudd, G 2015, 'Projection of Iron Ore Production', Natural Resources Research, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 317-327.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2014, International Association for Mathematical Geosciences. A comprehensive country-by-country projection of world iron ore production is presented along with alternative scenarios and a sensitivity analysis. The supply-driven modelling approach follows Mohr (Projection of world fossil fuel production with supply and demand interactions, PhD Thesis, http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6782, 2010) using an ultimately recoverable resource of 346 Gt of iron ore. Production is estimated to have a choppy plateau starting in 2017 until 2050 after which production rapidly declines. The undulating plateau is due to Chinese iron ore production peaking earlier followed by Australia and Brazil in turn. Alternative scenarios indicate that the model is sensitive to increases in Australian and Brazilian resources, and that African iron ore production can shift the peak date only if the African Ultimately Recoverable Resources (URR) is 5 times larger than the estimate used. Changes to the demand for iron ore driven by substitution or recycling are not modelled. The relatively near-term peak in iron ore supply is likely to create a global challenge to manufacturing and construction and ultimately the world economy.
Wang, J, Feng, L, Mohr, S, Tang, X, Tverberg, GE & Hook, M 2015, 'China's unconventional oil: A review of its resources and outlook for long-term production', Energy, vol. 82, pp. 31-42.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Due to the expected importance of unconventional oil in China's domestic oil supply, this paper first investigates the four types of China's unconventional oil resources comprehensively: heavy and extra-heavy oil, oil sands, broad tight oil and kerogen oil. Our results show that OIP (Oil-in-Place) of these four types of resources amount to 19.64Gt, 5.97Gt, 25.74Gt and 47.64Gt respectively, while TRRs (technically recoverable resources) amount to 2.24Gt, 2.26Gt, 6.95Gt and 11.98Gt respectively. Next, the Geologic Resources Supply-Demand Model is used to quantitatively project the long-term production of unconventional oil under two resource scenarios (TRR scenario and Proved Reserve+Cumulative Production scenario). Our results indicate that total unconventional oil production will peak in 2068 at 0.351Gt in TRR scenario, whereas peak year and peak production of PR (proved reserves)+CP (Cumulative Production) scenario are 2023 and 0.048Gt, significantly earlier and lower than those of TRR scenario. The implications of this growth in production of unconventional oil for China are also analyzed. The results show that if the TRR scenario can be achieved, it will increase total supply and improve oil security considerably. However, achieving the production in TRR scenario has many challenges, and even if it is achieved, China will still need to rely on imported oil.
The future availability of helium has been raised as an issue in the literature. However, a disaggregated projection of helium production has not been attempted, presumably due to the difficult nature of accessing disaggregated historic production data to test the accuracy of this issue. This paper presents collated and estimated historic helium production statistics from 1921 to 2012 for each helium producing country in the world and by U.S. state. A high and regular growth projection of helium has been created. It is found that helium resources are sufficient for the near future, with the projected production plateauing in 20602075 and 20902100 for the high and regular growth scenarios, respectively. As long as natural gas deposits with helium are appropriately managed, there is little likelihood for helium shortages to occur in the short term due to geologic constraints.
Northey, S, Mohr, SH, Mudd, GM, Weng, Z & Giurco, D 2014, 'Modelling future copper ore grade decline based on a detailed assessment of copper resources and mining', Resources, Conservation and Recycling, vol. 83, pp. 190-201.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The concept of 'peak oil' has been explored and debated extensively within the literature. However there has been comparatively little research examining the concept of 'peak minerals', particularly in-depth analyses for individual metals. This paper presents scenarios for mined copper production based upon a detailed assessment of global copper resources and historic mine production. Scenarios for production from major copper deposit types and from individual countries or regions were developed using the Geologic Resources Supply-Demand Model (GeRS-DeMo). These scenarios were extended using cumulative grade-tonnage data, derived from our resource database, to produce estimates of potential rates of copper ore grade decline. The scenarios indicate that there are sufficient identified copper resources to grow mined copper production for at least the next twenty years. The future rate of ore grade decline may be less than has historically been the case, as mined grades are approaching the average resource grade and there is still significant copper endowment in high grade ore bodies. Despite increasing demand for copper as the developing world experiences economic growth, the economic and environmental impacts associated with increased production rates and declining ore grades (particularly those relating to energy consumption, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions) will present barriers to the continued expansion of the industry. For these reasons peak mined copper production may well be realised during this century.
The water demand and water use practices of each community are different. Designing cost-effective demand management programs requires investigating and responding directly to the unique water issues and opportunities of each community (Turner et al., 2010). As presented in this paper, a `mixed method baseline analysis' has proven to be valuable in developing a demand management program tailored to the distinctive community context. A mixed method baseline analysis is comprised of two interlinked components: (i) quantitative smart meter data analysis to create a detailed understanding of the water demand pro¬file; and (ii) qualitative social research to understand the social, cultural and institutional influences that drive existing water patterns. This paper shares the mixed method baseline analysis and resulting implications for a demand management program implemented in the remote Indigenous community of Gunbalanya, Northern Territory, in 2013.
Turner, A, Fyfe, J, Rickwood, P & Mohr, S 2014, 'Evaluation of implemented Australian efficiency programs: results, techniques and insights', Water Science and Technology-Water Supply, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 1112-1123.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Focused on a case study of Geelong, Victoria, this paper presents the results of a unique comparison of (i) a custombuilt regression model for forecasting total customer water demand and (ii) end-use based water projections using the integrated Supply Demand Planning model (iSDP) model. The regression model used historical data for calibration based on level of restrictions, evapotranspiration, temperature, and rainfall. By selecting a future climate scenario (and any anticipated restriction periods) for the next 10-year period, demand can be projected by the model.
Mohr, SH & Evans, G 2013, 'Projections of future Phosphorus production (paper)', Philica: where ideas are free, vol. Article380.
Giurco, D, Mohr, SH, Mudd, GM, Mason, LM & Prior, TD 2012, 'Resource criticality and commodity production projections', Resources, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 22-33.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Resource criticality arising from peak production of primary ores is explored in this paper. We combine the Geologic Resource Supply-Demand Model of Mohr  to project future resource production for selected commodities in Australia, namely iron and coal which together represent around 50% of the value of total Australian exports as well as copper, gold and lithium. The projections (based on current estimates of ultimately recoverable reserves) indicate that peak production in Australia would occur for lithium in 2015; for gold in 2021; for copper in 2024; for iron in 2039 and for coal in 2060. The quantitative analysis is coupled with the criticality framework for peak minerals of Mason et al.  comprising (i) resource availability, (ii) societal resource addiction to commodity use, and (iii) alternatives such as dematerialization or substitution to assess the broader dimension s of peak minerals production for Australia.
Giurco, D, Prior, TD, Mason, LM, Mohr, SH & Mudd, GM 2012, 'Life-of-resource sustainability considerations for mining', Australian Journal of Civil Engineering, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 47-56.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Mining in Australia is booming. Notwithstanding, production conditions are progressively transitioning from the mining of cheaper, easily accessible and higher quality ores to lower grade, more remote, complex and expensive ores. Sustainability discussions in the minerals industry have largely sought to improve the social and environmental performance of individual operations, including planning for closure. However, the national implications of a change in the circumstances underpinning the current prosperity of mining are underexplored. This paper uses a peak minerals metaphor to map life-of-resource environmental and social considerations, pre- and post-peak production, at local and national scales. An examination of how the social and environmental impacts change, over the life of a resources extraction, is used to inform strategies for the role of technological and policy innovation in underpinning long-term national benei t from minerals in Australia.
Mohr, SH, Mudd, GM & Giurco, D 2012, 'Lithium resources and production: Critical assessment and global projections', Minerals, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 65-84.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper critically assesses if accessible lithium resources are sufficient for expanded demand due to lithium battery electric vehicles. The ultimately recoverable resources (URR) of lithium globally were estimated at between 19.3 (Case 1) and 55.0 (Case 3) Mt Li; Best Estimate (BE) was 23.6 Mt Li. The Mohr 2010 model was modified to project lithium supply. The Case 1 URR scenario indicates sufficient lithium for a 77% maximum penetration of lithium battery electric vehicles in 2080 whereas supply is adequate to beyond 2200 in the Case 3 URR scenario. Global lithium demand approached a maximum of 857 kt Li/y, with a 100% penetration of lithium vehicles, 3.5 people per car and 10 billion population.
Ward, JD, Mohr, SH, Myers, BR & Pell, WP 2012, 'High estimates of supply constrained emissions scenarios for long-term climate risk assessment', Energy Policy, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 598-604.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The simulated effects of anthropogenic global warming have become important in many fields and most models agree that significant impacts are becoming unavoidable in the face of slow action. Improvements to model accuracy rely primarily on the refinement of parameter sensitivities and on plausible future carbon emissions trajectories. Carbon emissions are the leading cause of global warming, yet current considerations of future emissions do not consider structural limits to fossil fuel supply, invoking a wide range of uncertainty. Moreover, outdated assumptions regarding the future abundance of fossil energy could contribute to misleading projections of both economic growth and climate change vulnerability. Here we present an easily replicable mathematical model that considers fundamental supply-side constraints and demonstrate its use in a stochastic analysis to produce a theoretical upper limit to future emissions. The results show a significant reduction in prior uncertainty around projected long term emissions, and even assuming high estimates of all fossil fuel resources and high growth of unconventional production, cumulative emissions tend to align to the current medium emissions scenarios in the second half of this century. This significant finding provides much-needed guidance on developing relevant emissions scenarios for long term climate change impact studies
Mason, LM, Mohr, SH, Zeibots, ME & Giurco, D 2011, 'Limits to cheap oil - impact on mining', The AusIMM Bulletin: Journal of the Australian institute of Mining and Metallurgy, vol. 4, no. August 2011, pp. 40-42.
Natural gas is an important energy source for power generation, a chemical feedstock and residential usage. It is important to analyse the future production of conventional and unconventional natural gas. Analysis of the literature determined conventional URR estimates of 10,70018,300 EJ, and the unconventional gas URR estimates were determined to be 425011,000 EJ. Six scenarios were assumed, with three static where demand and supply do not interact and three dynamic where it does. The projections indicate that world natural gas production will peak between 2025 and 2066 at 140217 EJ/y (133206 tcf/y). Natural gas resources are more abundant than some of the literature indicates.
Mohr, SH, Hook, M, Mudd, GM & Evans, G 2011, 'Projection of long-term paths for Australian coal production - Comparison of four models', International Journal of Coal Geology, vol. 86, no. 4, pp. 329-341.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Coal exports are an important source of revenue for Australia and for this reason Australian coal production and resources have been examined in detail and two recoverable resource estimates determined namely Standard and High. The Standard case calculated the likely recoverable coal resources in Australia to be 317 Gt, whereas the High scenario determined the maximal amount of recoverable coal resources at 367 Gt. Different modelling approaches (Logistic, Gompertz, Static and Dynamic supply and demand models) were used to project fossil fuel production and the projections of the relative approaches were compared. Good agreement was found between the Logistic, Static and Dynamic supply and demand models with production peaking in 2119 ± 6 at between 1.9 and 3.3 Gt/y. Contrasting these projections the Gompertz curves peak in 2084 ± 5 at 11.1 Gt/y. It was argued that the Logistic, Static and Dynamic models are more likely to produce accurate projections than the Gompertz curve. The production forecast is based on existing technology and constraints and a qualitative discussion is presented on possible influences on future production, namely: export capacity, climate change, overburden management, environmental and social impacts and export market issues.
Mohr, SH & Evans, G 2010, 'Combined Generalised Hubbert-Bass model approach to include disruptions when predicting future oil production', Natural Resources, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 28-33.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In a previous study  the authors had developed a methodology for predicting global oil production. Briefly, the model accounted for disruptions in production by utilising a series of Hubbert curves in combination with a polynomial smoothing function. Whilst the model was able to produce predictions for future oil production, the methodology was complex in its implementation and not easily applied to future disruptions. In this study a Generalized Bass model approach is incorporated with the Hubbert linearization technique that overcomes these limitations and is consistent with our previous predictions
Although considerable discussion surrounds unconventional oil's ability to mitigate the effects of peaking conventional oil production, very few models of unconventional oil production exist. The aim of this article was to project unconventional oil production to determine how significant its production may be. Two models were developed to predict the unconventional oil production, one model for in situ production and the other for mining the resources. Unconventional oil production is anticipated to reach between 18 and 32 Gb/y (4988 Mb/d) in 20762084, before declining. If conventional oil production is at peak production then projected unconventional oil production cannot mitigate peaking of conventional oil alone.
Mohr, SH & Evans, GM 2010, 'Shale gas changes N. American gas production projections', Oil and Gas Journal, vol. 108, no. 27, pp. 60-64.
Estimates of ultimate gas recovery from shales have changed the outlook for gas production in the US and Canada. The 138-tcf low and 310-tcf high ultimate conventional gas recovery estimate were the same as in Dawson for Canada tight gas. The low case for the US assumed a 310-tcf remaining conventional gas recovery as shown on a website maintained by the US Natural Gas Supply Association. The high case assumed a 200-tcf ultimate recovery based on probable and speculative resources of 163 tcf and historic production and proved reserves of ∼37 tcf. Kuuskraa and Stevens project that North American unconventional gas production will reach 19.3 tcf/year in 2020. The BGR resource estimate for the US is from the 2008 USGS Circum-Arctic Resources Appraisal, which is a conventional gas estimate. Gas production in North America will not peak until at least 2016 and probably much longer due to advancements in shale gas technology and production.
An integral tree is a tree whose adjacency matrix has only integer eigenvalues. While most previous work by other authors has been focused either on the very restricted case of balanced trees or on finding trees with diameter as large as possible, we study integral trees of diameter 4. In particular, we characterize all diameter 4 integral trees of the form T(m1, t1) T(m2, t2). In addition we give elegant parametric descriptions of infinite families of integral trees of the form T(m1, t1) · · · T(mn, tn) for any n > 1. We conjecture that we have found all such trees.
Mohr, SH & Evans, G 2009, 'An Empirical Method to Make Oil Production Models Tolerant to Anomalies', Natural Resources Research, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 1-5.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Modeling oil production is of interest to society and hotly debated. Often anomalies have occurred which makes modeling oil production via a particular theory (e.g., Hubberts bell curve) difficult. The empirical method described here allows for such historic anomalies to be incorporated while still using the underly theory. This method is explained using Hubberts bell curve and Former Soviet Union oil production as an example
A model capable of projecting mineral resources production has been developed. The model includes supply and demand interactions, and has been applied to all coal producing countries. A model of worldwide coal production has been developed for three scenarios. The ultimately recoverable resources (URR) estimates used in the scenarios ranged from 700 Gt to 1243 Gt. The model indicates that worldwide coal production will peak between 2010 and 2048 on a mass basis and between 2011 and 2047 on an energy basis. The Best Guess scenario, assumed a URR of 1144 Gt and peaks in 2034 on a mass basis, and in 2026 on an energy basis.
A theoretical model of conventional oil production has been developed. The model does not assume Hubberts bell curve, an asymmetric bell curve, or a reserve-to-production ratio method is correct, and does not use oil production data as an input. The theoretical model is in close agreement with actual production data until the 1979 oil crisis, with an R 2 value of greater than 0.98. Whilst the theoretical model indicates that an ideal production curve is slightly asymmetric, which differs from Hubberts curve, the ideal model compares well with the Hubbert model, with R 2 values in excess of 0.95. Amending the theoretical model to take into account the 1979 oil crisis, and assuming the ultimately recoverable resources are in the range of 23 trillion barrels, the amended model predicts conventional oil production to peak between 2010 and 2025. The amended model, for the case when the ultimately recoverable resources is 2.2 trillion barrels, indicates that oil production peaks in 2013.
Mohr, SH & Evans, GM 2007, 'Special report: Production model proposed for world conventional, unconventional gas', Oil and Gas Journal, vol. 105, no. 47.
A model for estimating world natural gas production to peak in 2043 has been developed and takes into account the conventional natural gas production peak by 2038, the world unconventional natural gas production peak in 2038 as well the decline in methane hydrate. The model approximates coalbed methane while natural gas demand is modeled by analyzing demand per person and population forecasts. Estimating the worldwide coalbed methane resource and the determination of a reasonable recovery factor yields he coalbed methane unconventional ultimately recoverable resources (URR) estimate. Another input comes from the determination of conventional natural gas URR estimate. The model estimates that methane hydrate resources are about 1,000 tcm.
Gero, A, Doan Trieu, T, Mohr, SH, Rickwood, P, Halcrow, G & Willetts, JR 2014, 'Sustainable Water and Sanitation Services for all in a Fast Changing World: Relying on markets to address human rights: sanitation supply chain analysis in low-density settings', Water, Engineering and Development Centre Knowledge Base, Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) International Conference, WEDC International Conferences, Hanoi, Vietnam, pp. 1-6.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Market-based approaches to improving sanitation coverage have increased in recent years, however the equity implications of these approaches, particularly in the face of the recently established human right to sanitation in 2010, requires a closer examination of the costs of sanitation products and services in remote, rural locations. This paper presents results from a recent study examining the sanitation supply-chain in the province of Dien Bien in north-west Vietnam, a low-density rural setting with high rates of poverty. It was found that current toilet coverage is lower in areas of high poverty, and that these areas also experience the highest costs of sanitation products due to the impact of distance and transport costs. We conclude that market-based approaches require nuanced application and that other forms of support or significant market intervention are likely required to ensure equitable outcomes in remote rural contexts.
Giurco, D, Mohr, SH, Fyfe, J, Rickwood, P, Teng, ML & Franklin, J 2013, 'Modelling bounce-back in water consumption post-drought', Proceedings of the 5th National Water Efficiency Conference, 5th National Water Efficiency Conference, Australian Water Association (AWA), Sydney, pp. 1-5.
Mudd, GM, Weng, Z, Northey, S, Jowitt, S, Memary, R, Mohr, SH, Giurco, D & Mason, LM 2013, 'A projection of future energy and greenhouse gas emissions intensity from copper mining', 23rd World Mining Congress 2013 Proceedings, World Mining Congress, Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Montreal, Canada, pp. 1-14.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In this study, we develop a detailed model of the likely future carbon footprint of primary copper supply. We develop a peak copper production model, based on a detailed copper resource data set, and combine this with a comprehensive life cycle assessment model of copper mining and milling to predict greenhouse gas emission rates and intensities of Australian and global copper production up to 2100. By establishing a quantitative prediction of both copper production and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions of Australian and global copper industry, we then analysed the emissions intensity of various energy input scenarios, such as business-as-usual, solar thermal electricity and solar thermal electricity with biodiesel. The Australian Government has an aspirational goal for long-term greenhouse gas emissions of an 80% reduction from the 2000 level by 2050. For the copper sector, this means moving from about 12.6 Mt CO2e in 2000 to a goal of some 2.52 Mt CO2e in 2050 (assuming equal emissions reductions across the economy). Based on the energy sources modelled, only the solar thermal plus biodiesel scenario was capable of achieving this goal at about 0.15 Mt CO2e, since the solar thermal alone scenario still includes normal petro-diesel as a major source of emissions. Overall, it is clear that there are abundant resources which can meet expected long-term copper demands, the critical issue is more the carbon (and environmental) footprint of different copper supplies and use rather than how much is available for mining. It is clear that the switch to renewable energy can have a profound impact on the carbon intensity of copper supply, even allowing for increased energy intensity as ore grades decline, and a complete conversion to renewable energy will position the copper sector to meet existing annual greenhouse gas emissions targets and goals.
Mohr, SH 2012, 'Forecasting fossil fuels', Australian Academy of Science, Australian Frontiers of Science Conference: Science for a Green Economy, Sydney, Australia.
Mohr, SH & Evans, G 2012, 'The future of unconventional oil (slides)', The 10th Annual ASPO Conference:, Vienna, Austria.
Mohr, SH & Evans, G 2012, 'The future of unconventional oil (video)', The 10th Annual APSO Conference, Vienna, Austria.
Mohr, S, Höök, M, Mudd, G & Evans, G 2011, 'Projection of Australian coal production - Comparisons of four models', 28th Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference 2011, PCC 2011, Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference, pp. 2701-2723.
Coal exports are an important source of revenue for Australia and for this reason Australian coal production and resources have been examined in detail. Two recoverable resource estimates, a Standard case and a High case, were determined. The Standard case calculated the likely recoverable coal resources in Australia to be 317 Gt, whereas the High scenario determined the maximal amount of recoverable coal resources at 367 Gt. The study performed forecasting by use of curve-fitting with Logistic and Gompertz curves as well as Static and Dynamic versions of a supply and demand model based on real world mineral exploitation. The different modelling approaches were used to project fossil fuel production and the outlooks were compared. Good agreement was found between the Logistic, Static and Dynamic supply and demand models with production peaking in 2119±6 at between 1.9 and 3.3 Gt/y. Contrasting these projections the Gompertz curves peak in 2084±5 at 1-1.1 Gt/y. It was argued that the Logistic, Static and Dynamic models are more likely to produce accurate projections than the Gompertz curve. The production forecast is based on existing technology and constraints and a qualitative discussion is presented on possible influences on future production, namely: export capacity, climate change, overburden management, environmental and social impacts and export market issues.
The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney, undertook a review of the environmental effects of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme on behalf of the Australian Government Department of the Environment.
The review analysed several facets of the Scheme, including:
* the interactions between WELS and other urban water policies
* changes in the products registered and sold since the commencement of WELS
* changes in water consumption since the commencement of WELS
* energy, greenhouse and household bill impacts associated with reduced water consumption
Willetts, JR, Gero, A, Murta, J, Trieu Thanh, D & Mohr, S Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney 2015, Sanitation value chains in low density settings in Vietnam, Enterprise in WASH – Research Report 2.
Cordell, DJ, Mikhailovich, N, Mohr, SH, Jacobs, B & White, S Australian Government: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation 2014, Australian sustainable phosphorus futures: Phase II: Adapting to future phosphorus scarcity: Investigating potential sustainable phosphorus measures and strategies, no. RIRDC Publication No. 14/039, pp. 1-73.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This project investigates how Australia can manage phosphorus to ensure long-term food security, soil fertility, agricultural productivity, farmer livelihoods and environmental protection. The intended outcome overall is to deliver sustainable phosphorus adaptation strategies across a range of scenarios to increase the resilience of the Australian food system. An Australian phosphorus flows model, quantified and costed sustainable phosphorus measures and interactive future phosphorus scenarios, will enable stakeholders to identify policy implications and make informed policy decisions. This report presents the findings from Phase 2 of this project, Adapting to future phosphorus scarcity: investigating potential sustainable phosphorus measures and strategies. That is: 1. a Toolbox of sustainable phosphorus measures 2. a future scenarios model of sustainable phosphorus measures 3. a high-level influence diagram on which phosphorus vulnerability can be mapped 4. a conceptual framework for deliberating on, and synthesising adaptive pathways.
Langham, E, Downes, J, Brennan, T, Fyfe, J, Mohr, SH, Rickwood, P & White, S Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2014, Smart Grid, Smart City, Customer Research Report, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Prepared by the UTS: Institute for Sustainable Futures as part of the AEFI consortium for Ausgrid and EnergyAustralia
Nickless, E, Bloodworth, A, Meinert, L, Giurco, D, Mohr, S & Littleboy, A International Union of Geological Sciences 2014, Resourcing Future Generations White Paper: Mineral Resources and Future Supply, pp. i-38, London.
This report presents an analysis of water use in Gunbalanya and an independent evaluation of the `Gunbalanya Water Initiative (the Initiative), a water demand management program led by Power and Water Corporation (PWC) in 2013. The Initiative was implemented in the Gunbalanya community (Oenpelli) in western Arnhemland, Northern Territory, in response to increasing water scarcity and rising demand from the water system. The community experiences water shortages at the end of most dry seasons (October to December) as the aquifer is dependent on seasonal recharge and unique aquifer characteristics prohibit higher extraction rates. Increasing water demand incurs higher production costs. Where that water continues to the sewer, it can also overload sewage treatment systems. These drivers triggered an analysis of the sources of demand (water use, leaks, etc) to identify and test the local efficacy of targeted demand reduction measures. Implementation of the Initiative was from October 2012 to November 2013 through a partnership between local and Territory governments and the Gunbalanya community. The partners included Power and Water Corporation, the NT Department of Housing, the West Arnhem Regional Council (WARC), and the NT Department of Community Services. In - kind contributions from all partners supplemented grant funding of $298,000 from the Australian Government to deliver the program. The focus of the Initiative was to engage Indigenous public housing tenants and community stakeholders in a water efficiency program. Smart meter data interpretation played a significant role in the Initiatives design, monitoring and evaluation. A mixture of qualitative and quantitative evaluation techniques were used.
White, S, Herriman, E, Giurco, D, Cordell, D, Gero, A, Mason, L, May, D, Mohr, S, Moore, D & Asker, S CRC CARE 2014, Landfill Futures: : National Guideline Document, no. CRC CARE Technical Report 30, Adelaide.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This report looks at the past and present roles of landfills in Australian waste management and considers the requirements for a sustainable future. The research used a test case to apply an integrated resource planning model to waste. The results suggest that disposal to landfill may be an expensive and less preferred option compared to others, in many cases, but still have a role to play in specific contexts where the costs of other options are higher.
Mohr, SH, Mudd, GM, Mason, LM & Giurco, D Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS and the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University 2013, Lithium: Production trends, sustainability issues and future prospects, pp. 1-59, Sydney.
Mohr, SH, Mudd, GM, Mason, LM, Prior, TD & Giurco, D Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS and Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University 2013, Coal: Production trends, sustainability issues and future prospects, pp. 1-48, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Mudd, GM, Weng, Z, Memary, R, Northey, S, Giurco, D, Mohr, SH & Mason, LM Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS and the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University 2013, Future greenhouse gas emissions from copper mining: Assessing clean energy scenarios, pp. 1-32, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Cordell, DJ, Jackson, ML, Boronyak, LJ, Cooper, C, Mohr, SH, Moore, DD & White, S Australian Sustainable Phosphorus Futures and Institute for Sustainable Futures 2012, Phase 1: Analysis of phosphorus flows through the Australian food production and consumption system, pp. 1-57, Sydney, Australia.
Memary, R, Giurco, D, Mudd, GM, Mohr, SH & Weng, Z Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS and the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University 2012, Copper case study: Australian resources, technology and future scenarios, pp. 1-48, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Mudd, GM, Giurco, D, Mohr, SH & Mason, LM Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University and the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2012, Gold resources and production: Australia in a global context, pp. 1-60, Melbourne.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Mudd, GM, Yellishetty, M, Mason, LM, Mohr, SH, Prior, TD & Giurco, D Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University and the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2012, Iron resources and production: Technology, sustainability and future prospects, pp. 1-60, Melbourne.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Rickwood, P, Mohr, SH, Nguyen, M & Milne, GR Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2012, Evaluation of the home power savings program - Phase 1, pp. 1-67, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
White, S, Herriman, J, Giurco, D, Cordell, DJ, Gero, A, Mason, LM, May, D, Mohr, SH & Moore, DD Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2012, Landfill Futures: Synthesis report, pp. 1-6, Sydney, Australia.
Langham, E, Dunstan, C, Cooper, C, Moore, DD, Mohr, SH & Ison, N Institute for Sustainable Futures 2011, Decentralised Energy Costs and Opportunities for Victoria, pp. 1-136, University of Technology, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS