It's amazing how many people - even railway enthusiasts - reckon we needn't worry about Peak Oil as the alternatives will be easy to find and cheap to produce.
People like things to be simple. Kids aren't taught economics at school and most adults don't have a clue what economics is! This wasn't a problem in the easy times, but it will be in the future, because everything may depend on it.
People in all seriousness believe that the future is electric cars (despite electricity generation set to FALL!), biofuels (now totally discredited - it is not scalable, destroys the fertlility of soil and, even at 5% of requirements will push food prices up by huge amounts), or even hydrogen (hydrogen is an energy CARRIER, not a form of energy).
But I reckon the following few paragraphs put it far more succinctly than I ever will -
Much is made of the development of the hydrogen-fuelled vehicle, but the only sustainable method of hydrogen generation is by electrolysis using electricity from wind or marine current power. However, there will be great competition for this and it would be more efficient to use renewably generated electricity directly for trains or trams or for battery vehicles. To have supplied the 2006 level of road vehicle movements with hydrogen would require round three times the energy generated that year by coal, gas and nuclear power combined, viz., 1100 TWh compared with 400 TWh actually generated. This will restrict the use of the hydrogen car to a favoured minority. Transport fuels in 2006 amounted to 53.5 million tonnes.
Bio-diesel is already being supplied in limited quantities, mainly as a blend with normal diesel. Currently in the UK, biodiesel is manufactured from waste cooking oil and imported palm oil. The likely amount of waste vegetable oil from the food industry totals only 75,000 tonnes/annum, which with bio-ethanol or methanol would make around 100,000 tonnes of motor fuel. However, in 2005 a plant was commissioned in Newarthill, near Motherwell, Scotland which augments waste cooking oil with tallow to produce 50 million litres (57,000 tonnes) of biodiesel per annum. But the final amount is restricted by the amount of land able to be devoted to rape cultivation, all the biodiesel from which will be needed for agriculture. It might be possible to import rape seed (or rape oil from it) grown on land currently used for tobacco. Other vegetable oils can be employed and there are controversial imports of palm oil.
Bio-diesel is currently made using methanol (to produce FAME) from the petrochemical industry, so to be sustainable it should be made using bioethanol (to produce FAEE). British Sugar manufactures bioethanol from sugar or wheat in Norfolk, but because of more favourable tax rebates in Poland has also located an initial venture there. Bioethanol is blended with petrol in any proportion up to 15%.
In 2006 the use of oil-based liquid fuels for road transport amounted to 53.5 million tonnes per annum, up from 49.5 million tonnes in 2000, a rise of 8% in spite of increases in fuel efficiency. There no possibility of replacing this with alternative fuels.
Source is the Busby Report, a little dated now but very prescient!