Chevron Corporation, one of the world’s leading energy companies, has launched a PR site energy discussion forum, called

“Energy will be one of the defining issues of this century. One thing is clear: the era of easy oil is over. So let the discussion begin. How will we meet the energy needs of the entire world in this century and beyond? Here’s where you can learn more about the broader issues; voice your opinion on the current topic; and take part in a discussion today that could help shape the world’s energy needs for tomorrow.”

The centrepiece of the site is Energyville, an “energy game” developed by the Economist Group. This is a Sim City© look-alike, in which you “choose from a portfolio of energy sources to power your city today and through 2030. Every decision you make will affect the environment, the economy and your city’s security”.


To register, to play the game or to access the discussion forums, go to Let us know how you get on.

Update: It seems that whatever combination of energy sources you click and drag onto your scenario, it is impossible to achieve more than 88% of the city’s energy requirements without using oil. There’s no facility to change the city’s infrastructure, so you’re stuck with planes and private cars as modes of transport, which require petroleum. The objective of this “game” is to demonstrate the continuing importance of petroleum and the impossibility of achieving independence from oil. Which is pretty much what you’d expect from an oil company.

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8 Responses to Energyville

  1. Ginger says:

    Surely I’m not the only person to misread their web address as “willy oujoi nus”?

  2. Pete Smith says:

    Yes, sorry Ginger, you are indeed the only one 🙂

  3. matt says:

    This is an interesting ‘PR’ approach to what I suspect is a prerequisite to nuclear expansion.

  4. Pete Smith says:

    Nuclear? I don’t read it like that, after all Chevron is an OIL company. In the first phase of the game, if you choose not to implement the oil option, no matter what combination of hydro/solar/nuclear/biomass/wind you throw in, you never reach more than 88% of the city’s energy needs. At that point, all options apart from oil are greyed out. Only by compromising your principles deeply and selecting oil can you reach the target and move on to the next level. On that basis, I see this as PR for the indispensibility of oil.

  5. matt says:

    I see. A game we can’t win then.

  6. Pete Smith says:

    Only if you set out with the firm objective of not using oil. This is from the Economist Group link:
    “There is no ‘right’ answer to the world’s energy challenge and Energyville was designed to show the complexities and the tough choices that have to be made to meet the energy needs of a growing, modern city. Given the importance of energy in our lives, Energyville is an opportunity to stimulate and help create awareness around energy choices.”
    Having accepted the need for a little oil, tinkering with the combinations of sustainable energy sources takes you to the next phases where various technological, environmental and political scenarios are changed. At the end, you get a final score and graphs showing your impacts in terms of economics, environment and security.

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