Thoughts on energy projections used in climate change analysis
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Thoughts on Energy Projections Used in Climate Change Analysis. for Workshop on Methods to Address Uncertainty in Forecasting Future Values of Key Social, Economic, and Resource Variables March 18, 2013 | Washington, DC by Howard Gruenspecht, Deputy Administrator. Vs.

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Thoughts on Energy Projections Used in Climate Change Analysis

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Thoughts on energy projections used in climate change analysis

Thoughts on Energy Projections Used in Climate Change Analysis

for

Workshop on Methods to Address Uncertainty in Forecasting Future Values of Key Social, Economic, and Resource Variables

March 18, 2013 | Washington, DC

by

Howard Gruenspecht, Deputy Administrator


Thoughts on energy projections used in climate change analysis

Vs.

Howard Gruenspecht , CMU workshop March 18, 2013


Observations regarding energy projections and forecasts

Observations regarding energy projections and forecasts

  • Leading providers of energy projections generally do a better job of characterizing uncertainty and providing meaningful caveats than is suggested in the background note.

  • Caveats included both physical or social science studies are not effective in preventing the willful misuse of their contents. This problem, which relates to the actual “wants” and “needs” of policymakers and those seeking to influence the policy process deserves more attention.

  • EIA prepares and publicly posts on a regular basis, detailed “post mortem” comparisons of projected and actual values.

  • While “point value” energy projections are inevitably wrong, experience suggests that fossil fuel quantities are easier to project than fossil fuel prices. Quantities, not prices, are most relevant to climate concerns.

  • Assessment of the track record of energy projections is inherently subjective and in the eye of the beholder.

Howard Gruenspecht , CMU workshop March 18, 2013


Eia retrospective review of reference case projections through aeo2012 summary

EIA retrospective review of reference case projections through AEO2012: summary

Source: EIA, Annual Energy Outlook Retrospective Review Table 1

Howard Gruenspecht , CMU workshop March 18, 2013


Thoughts on energy projections used in climate change analysis

EIA retrospective review of reference case projections through AEO2012: energy related CO2 emissions

Source: EIA, Annual Energy Outlook Retrospective Review Table 21

Howard Gruenspecht , CMU workshop March 18, 2013


Thoughts on energy projections used in climate change analysis

Global projections of energy-related CO2 emissions: EIA International Energy Outlook 2000 and IEA World Energy Outlook 2000

Projected world energy-related CO2 emissions

(Million metric tons carbon dioxide)

Source: EIA, International Energy Outlook 2000 and IEA, World Energy Outlook 2000

History

Projections

Actual 2011 value = 31600

Howard Gruenspecht , CMU workshop March 18, 2013


Thoughts on energy projections used in climate change analysis

Growth in income and population drive rising energy use; energy intensity improvements moderate increases in energy demand

average annual change (2008-2035)percent per year

Source: EIA, International Energy Outlook 2011

Howard Gruenspecht , CMU workshop March 18, 2013


Observations regarding climate and energy analysis

Observations regarding climate and energy analysis

  • Experts tend to revel in the uncertainties and complexities within their own field while ignoring other key uncertainties, as illustrated by the experience of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

  • Policy makers objectives and their wants & needs for expert information are often quite different than the objectives and information needs that experts would hold if they were in the role of policy makers.

  • Experts in all fields face a huge challenge in providing information regarding uncertainty within the constraint of an extremely narrow band width for communicating with policy makers and the public. The challenge is not unique to energy projections or forecasts.

  • Improved probabilistic assessments may be more attainable on the hard science side of climate analysis than in energy projections. The premise in the background note that probabilistic energy projections are a particularly high-value target is debatable.

  • Work by Weitzman and others suggest that many of the uncertainties of greatest interest in the climate analysis involve issues that are extremely difficult to assess

Howard Gruenspecht , CMU workshop March 18, 2013


For more information

For more information

U.S. Energy Information Administration home page | www.eia.gov

Annual Energy Outlook | www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo

Short-Term Energy Outlook | www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo

International Energy Outlook | www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo

Today In Energy | www.eia.gov/todayinenergy

Monthly Energy Review | www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly

Annual Energy Review | www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual

Howard Gruenspecht , CMU workshop March 18, 2013


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