In this Episode
In 1909, headlines declared the U.S. would run out of petroleum by 1940. In 1945, the estimate was that the U.S. had 13 more years of petroleum reserves left. In 1966, we only had 10 more years before the “figurative dipstick in the United States’ oil supplies” came out dry. In the 1970’s United States, alarmist projections about exponential growth of energy demands expected that we would run out of fossil fuels by the year 2000, and yet – since 2000, our consumption of energy from fossil fuels has nearly doubled.
We have a pretty consistent track record of underestimating our available fuel reserves, and how much of those reserves we will consume as technology changes and efficiency increases. Why does this mattery for anticipating how much fossil fuels we may need in the future to ensure a reliable grid? What do market forces suggest? In this episode, Kingsmill Bond (Energy Strategist at RMI) and Nat Bullard (Senior Contributor with BloombergNEF) examine why it is so difficult to anticipate our future energy needs and their costs.