Date: May 1976
Creator: Koppelman, Frank; O'Sullivan, Pat & Collum, Tom
Description: A baseline projection of energy consumption is needed to estimate the potential energy savings from proposed transport technology and operational improvements. The Reference Energy System projection by Brookhaven National Laboratories and that which Stanford Research Institute produced for Gulf Oil are reviewed here. Attention is focused on the growth rate assumptions of the forecasts and the allowances made for the sensitivity of transport demand and technological efficiency to fuel price changes. The alternative trajectories of energy use are examined for automobile, bus and intercity air and rail passenger travel, and also for freight movement. Little, if any, justification can be found for many of the assumptions used to estimate transport demand and energy intensiveness. The assumptions underlying the Brookhaven National Laboratories projections are more explicit on changes in energy efficiency and energy price and shifts in transport patterns. However, the relationship of automobile travel, the largest component, to energy price is not specified clearly. The Stanford projection is based on seemingly arbitrary assumptions about changes in travel patterns and energy efficiency with no reference to the market process which must bring them about. It is concluded that the Brookhaven projection is a reasonable interim benchmark. Its structure should improve by ...
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