Energy Predictions for 2012

first_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Members As the sun sets on 2011 and we all turn our eyes to 2012, it’s time for journalists and consultants to publish their predictions for the coming year. I was briefly tempted to create such a list — something along the lines of “energy prices will be higher, the planet will be warmer, and many regions will be affected by drought” — until I remembered that I’ve always been bad at predicting.For example, back in the late 1970s, I was convinced that energy prices would rise steeply during the 1980s. I was wrong.I’m not the only one with a bad forecasting track record. Most people, “experts” included, are terrible at predicting the future. So instead of presenting my own predictions, I’ve decided to take a look at the accuracy of past predictions made by other authors and experts.Here are some predictions I’ve gathered, beginning with the most recent. An article published in Business Week in November 2009 predicted that by the end of 2010, “Smart grids/meters will take the world by storm. Annual global spending on the technology will jump to $33 billion by 2014 vs. $12 billion in 2008. That could increase electricity grids’ efficiency two-fold and reduce consumers’ energy consumption by 30%.” Or not.Billionaire Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, predicted in February 2003 that, as a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, oil prices would fall from the then-current level of $32 a barrel to only $20 a barrel. Said Murdoch, “The whole world will benefit from cheaper oil which will be a bigger stimulus than anything else.”Soon after Murdoch made his prediction, however, oil prices began climbing. The average price of a barrel of oil rose to $37 in 2004, $50 in 2005, and $91 in 2008.An article published in 2000 on the GreenBiz website predicted that… center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img

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