New Briefing | Energy for Planet Earth – 30 years on

In September 1990, Scientific American published a special issue entitled ‘Energy for Planet Earth’. In it, Scientific American explored the sources of energy, the future for energy, made predictions on technological breakthroughs and suggested solutions for what they considered was an imminent energy crisis.

Many of these predictions by Scientific American were made for 2020. Given we have reached that date, we can look back and compare the predictions with what actually happened. In a three-part series, Frontier Economics will compare actual outcomes to 2020 with the predictions made by Scientific American.

We focus on three areas where Scientific American made long term forecasts:

  • Primary energy demand
  • Energy intensity
  • Emissions intensity

This first briefing examines the performance of Scientific American’s forecast of primary energy demand.

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