The energy sector is one of the most volatile segments of the global economy. The Energy Forecast team develops demand and supply estimates over a 20 year period using five years of historical data for the three major fossil fuel markets: petroleum, natural gas and coal. In addition we project production of electricity from nuclear, hydroelectric and renewable resources. The fossil fuel prices are determined by balancing global demand and global supply over a 20 forward look. Energy is one of the major producers of anthropogenic CO2 emissions and the model also projects forward estimates of CO2 based on the projections of fossil fuel consumption.
The energy forecast serves as an important window into a rapidly changing industry.
Over the last thirty years and over the next thirty years, the resources humans consume show the innovation of nearly all aspects of life. The commodities measured begin with fossil fuels, which include petroleum, natural gas, and coal. For each, the goal is to calculate production, consumption, and net exports for each. For petroleum, production is divided into crude oil and other petroleum liquids, as this shows the distinction between upstream and downstream refined products. The next three energy variables include the production values for nuclear, hydroelectric, and renewables (wind and solar) electricity. The model assumes production is equal to consumption on a domestic level for energy sources delivered into power grids directly.
While these values are reported in units specific to their structure and function, the model also reports them as quadrillion units or Quads for short. This is especially important as several countries that play a significant role in the energy industry often produce values so large they are hard to report on their standard scale.
As previously mentioned, the world price is reported for the fossil fuel values. Petroleum is reported as the price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil. Natural gas represents the price reported from Henry Hub based on US dollars/mmbtu (million British Thermal Units). Coal is measured in US dollars per metric ton of Australian thermal coal. All of these are considered standard benchmarks for industry wide reporting and the units observed by most production and trading firms.
The last cluster of variables are the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the fossil fuel commodities. Especially in recent years, consumers in all legs of the energy supply chain are increasingly concerned over the effects of fossil fuel usage. Major companies as well as future developments are more attractive to customers and private equity investment as they seek alternatives that produce energy with fewer emissions. This reporting of these values allow decision makers to view a specific country’s emissions profile over time. For example, a country with high levels of fossil fuel use and emissions such as India may factor into a decision over what energy source to use for future powerplant construction.
The forecast allows the reader to examine long-term trends that provide an added level of information in regard to a decision making process. Being able to answer questions regarding the details of a country without physically being there is an important resource.
I. Global Energy Overview
II. Country Energy Data
III. Energy Model