Energy demand and supply projections are bound inextricably with external realities. Consequently, they reflect the dominant views on the development of those factors that primarily determine energy consumption. Some of these factors are highly uncertain or so difficult to quantify that it is impossible to model their effects. Other factors, such as economic activity or population development, can serve as variables that, to a large extent, determine energy consumption. Hence, parallel to the prospect of global economic activity slowly shifting from exponential growth (until the 1970s considered the norm) to a prolonged period of low growth, there have been similar downward revisions in the corresponding energy consumption. But, there are other reasons for the recent downward revisions of energy projections. In contrast to energy forecasters of the 1970s, today’s analysts can base their projections on empirical evidence about the response of industries and households to two unprecedented oil price increases of the last decade. Adjustments to the realities of high energy costs have resulted in energy efficiency improvements along the entire energy chain from resource extraction to consumption, as well as interfuel substitution, structural economic changes, and changes in individual attitudes.
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- Long-Term Energy Projections and Novel Energy Systems
- Springer New York