I now have calculated the projected energy consumption for the 34 nations currently in the OECD at 2030.

It very much looks like the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration used the same methodology I describe below to come up with a 279 quad projection for the 34 OECD nations in 2030.

Here’s the data in Excel if you want to look (I have a table below but it’s kinda hard to read.) Energy Consumption in the OECD 2030

What I did was to take my higher growth projections for Tier 1 countries as described in the previous post. I then calculated energy use for the remaining 26 countries as follows:

- I took the medium population projection from the UN as published a couple of months ago.
- I reduced energy use per capita by 10% to follow predictions of energy efficiency gains predicted for that time period.
- I multiplied this lower per capita energy consumption by the number of capitas predicted for 2030

And the total was almost exactly what the DOE came up with. Mine was 280.16 quads compared to their 279 quads.

The reason I’m excited is that it provides indirect support for the choices I made in projecting totals for the developing world.

However, to actually look at this as an optimum methodology, we have to consider some potentially confounding factors.

The Rebound Effect. If our appliances, cars and buildings get more efficient, will that seduce us into consuming more energy? If so, then we must assume that the DOE built that in and the 0.5% per year gain in efficiency is net, not gross.

Secondly, Do we have reason to assume that the Tier 2 countries will have a homogenized gain of 0.5% per year? The current variation in energy consumption between Tier 2 countries is huge, ranging from 568.6 mbtus per person in Iceland to 102 mbtus per person in Portugal. The variation in predicted growth in GDP is also quite large in Tier 2 countries, ranging from a CAGR % of 2.3% in Iceland to 0.99% in Spain.

And the elephant in the living room in all of this is the U.S. Because it is so large in comparison to the rest of Tier 2 countries in the OECD (It has 34% of the population in all of Tier 2 and that will rise to 36% in 2030), if the U.S. does not experience the same 0.5% gain in energy efficiency, it has a disproportionate impact on the totals.

Finally, the UN has not had the greatest success in measuring further populations. Because my (and evidently the DOE’s) calculations are heavily dependent on population, if that goes south so do all of these nice calculations…

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