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The decade that blew up energy predictions

Production

America’s energy sources, like booming oil and crumbling coal, have defied projections and historical precedents over the last decade.

Why it matters: It shows how change can happen rapidly and unexpectedly, even in an industry known to move gradually and predictably. With a new decade upon us, let’s look back at the last one’s biggest, most surprising energy changes.

Where it stands: The following five charts show the U.S. Energy Information Administration projections for the future from a decade ago, along with current EIA data to compare those projections with what actually has happened.

Driving the news: The stark differences are driven by myriad factors not included in the decade-old projections, including policy changes and ever-more efficient technology extracting oil and gas.

Oil production and prices

In 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected that in 2019, the U.S. would be producing about six million barrels of oil a day. The reality? We’re now producing 12 million barrels of oil a day.

  • Meanwhile, EIA projected oil prices would be more than $100 a barrel. They’re currently hovering around $60 a barrel.

What’s happening: A pair of extraction methods — horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — have unlocked far more oil and gas than experts had predicted, and companies have gotten hyper-efficient extracting more oil from each well.

EIA actual and projected data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Oil imports

EIA had projected in 2010 that the U.S. would be importing a net eight million barrels of petroleum by now, which includes crude oil and petroleum products like gasoline. In September, the U.S. actually exported a net 89,000 barrels of petroleum.

Flashback: A driving reason behind this is Congress lifting the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports in 2015, a policy change few thought possible a decade ago.

EIA actual and projected data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Natural gas production

In 2010, EIA projected that the U.S. would be producing about 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas by now. In 2018, the last full year of annual data, we produced more than 30 trillion.

What’s happening: Horizontal drilling and fracking are the key drivers here too — though oil is typically more valuable than gas, so the increase has been greater with oil than gas.

EIA actual and projected data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Electricity

The EIA had projected that coal electricity would remain dominant in the U.S. and natural gas would remain relatively stable — even drop slightly in its share of power supply. The opposite is happening. Coal-fired power is plummeting and natural gas has risen significantly.

Renewables tracked a bit higher than where projections were a decade ago. This is due to the low base on which wind and solar started from, the sporadic nature of federal tax subsidies for these industries and continued support among states.

What happened: Stringent environmental regulations issued during the Obama administration, combined with the surprisingly plentiful supplies of cleaner-burning natural gas, drove these unexpected changes with coal and gas.

Congress remains in an on-again-off-again relationship with renewable-energy subsidies, but many states are ramping up even more clean-energy goals and wind and solar costs continue to drop. So I expect wind and solar to keep growing, which goes against EIA’s 2010 projections.

EIA actual and projected data; Note: Rooftop solar was included in the renewables data starting in 2014; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Greenhouse gas emissions

EIA had projected in 2010 that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions would continue rising, albeit at a slower pace. In fact, they dropped.

What happened: The same one-two punch that drove natural gas to dominate over coal in the electricity mix has driven this change. More recently, the growth in wind and solar, which don’t produce emissions, is accelerating this trend.

Yes, but: Emissions have ticked back up, however, due to a growing economy and the fact that natural gas, although it emits half the CO2 as coal, is still a fossil fuel. It can also emit methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas. EIA does project emissions to decline slightly in the coming years.

EIA actual and projected data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

What we’re watching: What we all might get wrong in the next decade.

AXIOS



94 Comments on "The decade that blew up energy predictions"

  1. Outcast_Searcher on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 9:11 am 

    And yet, the doomer crowd perpetually claims technology can’t possibly help mitigate the situation over, say, the next few decades.

    And to hell with whatever lessons we should have learned, re trying to act like technology doesn’t help, over time.

    Imagine, for example, how much things like LED lighting helped re the needed electricity production, and how much they’ll continue to, such as solar, wind, and batteries helping handle the coming EV revolution over the next decade to three. (As hard as it is to make projections re technology for a decade, trying to go beyond three is, IMO, really pointless).

  2. Davy on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 9:59 am 

    “And yet, the doomer crowd perpetually claims technology can’t possibly help mitigate the situation over, say, the next few decades.”

    Bullshit, the intelligent doomer realizes technology is required to mitigate decline but also knows technology is primarily responsible for the decline. A REAL Green believes a combination is required of technology and adapted behavior to mitigate decline. The wrong tech and wrong behavior are combining to make the world hopelessly path dependent. That dependency does not mean the individual can’t adapt at a small scale where humans belong.

  3. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 10:00 am 

    Hint:
    Daily CO2

    Dec. 23, 2019: 411.99 ppm

    Dec. 23, 2018: 409.56 ppm

  4. JuanP on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 10:33 am 

    I am so so depressed. I am all alone on Christmas. Nobody wants to be around me.

  5. Richard Guunette on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 10:34 am 

    Try brushing your teeth sometimes

  6. eugene on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 11:13 am 

    How do you know that’s true?

    I saw it on TV.

    Did you ever do any research?

    What’s research?

    Reading expert points of view.

    I don’t want any other point of view.

  7. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 11:52 am 

    You love to see it

    https://i.redd.it/t2dcge9ads641.jpg

    keep the mixing up.

  8. Brent Georgeson on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 12:20 pm 

    I have never doubted the technology I doubted the cost of that technology. How much debt did America go into to achieve the production increase?

  9. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 12:24 pm 

    If Putin were to leave us tomorrow…

    https://www.ridl.io/en/if-putin-were-to-leave-us-tomorrow/

    Deep state is already planting the seeds..Shouldn’t be long

  10. Famlin on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 2:25 pm 

    Renewable energy including electric transport increased much higher than what EIA predicted.

    Coal went down only in USA, but worldwide, it has increased a lot and continues to increase, but all those Coal-to-liquids are clubbed under oil giving us a wrong view that only oil is increasing.

  11. Jerome Purtzer on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 5:54 pm 

    Looks like another rah rah Forbes article. Lots of room under the sand for the great minds that think alike.

  12. JuanP on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 9:07 pm 

    Keep up the good work, energy workers! I want my energy cheap and abundant! Long live Putin! Trump 2020! Tulsi 2020!

  13. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 25th Dec 2019 9:29 pm 

    Clogg is officially on suicide watch

    We all know he has no life, friends or family.

    I bet another Christmas alone and full of hate and paranoia could have got the best of him. All those DailyFail articles shouting in all capitals finally took its tole.

    Good riddance.

  14. JuanP is stupid on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 3:51 am 

    The jerk is being his normal stupid

    This is from the egotistical stupid:

    JuanP said Keep up the good work, energy workers! I want my e…

    The REAL Board. said Davy is a jerk This is from stupid jerk: The REAL…

  15. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 3:56 am 

    “I have never doubted the technology I doubted the cost of that technology. How much debt did America go into to achieve the production increase?”

    Well, you can always sell your navy on a per kilo scrap metal basis to China. Outspending the rest of the planet on “defense”, to support the not-so-secret attempt to conquer the lot, will soon be a thing of the past.

    “I bet another Christmas alone and full of hate and paranoia could have got the best of him. All those DailyFail articles shouting in all capitals finally took its tole.”

    Really? It is YOU posting 9:29 pm on Christmas day, while I was having Christmas diner with my family elsewhere in the country.

    “Deep state is already planting the seeds..Shouldn’t be long”

    The deep state should worry about recapturing the presidency first. The impeachment is going nowhere and Trump got a boost to win a second term. Of course your stinking tribe will try to topple him in 2020. Just wait to see what happens next if you do that.

    You will find out that a revolting white America will have a lot of opportunistic geopolitical “friends” all over the world, who all want to see ZOG fall flat on its face.

    And the fate of mobby and his tribe?

    http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v20/v20n6p52_Faurisson.html

  16. Davy on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 4:00 am 

    This is for the cloggo and his upbeat eurotardland:

    “A News Chronology Of France In 2019: The Year Of Yellow Vest Rebellion”
    https://tinyurl.com/w8m6279 saker

  17. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 4:01 am 

    https://www.rt.com/russia/476812-russia-nuclear-submarine-launched/

    “‘Deadliest ever’: Russia launches new 4th-gen nuclear-powered submarine”

    Europe just got a new weapon in its arsenal.

    Merry Christmas!

  18. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 4:05 am 

    The trans-Atlantic rift is widening, Europe chooses for Eurasia:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-12-02/iran-protests-why-is-europe-bailing-out-the-ruling-regime-now

    “Why Is Europe Bailing Out Iran’s Regime Now?”

    Richard Spencer latest:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLP7pd-Icd4

    “Christmas Special—The Lost Decade and Coming Civil War”

  19. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 4:30 am 

    “Brexit ‘will not damage UK’s status in the world’: Britain will remain a dominant global economy and will streak ahead of France and overhaul Germany, long-term analysis suggests”

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7826919/Britain-remain-dominant-global-economy-Brexit-new-analysis-suggests.html#comments

    “The UK continues to benefit from a young population – boosted by immigration”

    LOL

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/05/london-murders-2019-violent-killings-capital-highest-level-decade/

    In 2011 the entire country was on fire thanks to the uprising of the “young immigration”:

    https://tinyurl.com/t9s53sg

    Could happen any moment again.

    Let’s see if they can keep Scotland and Northern Ireland after a no-deal Brexit.

  20. Davy on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 4:47 am 

    “Active Aero Fans Improve Aerodynamics, But Will They Go Into Production Cars?”
    https://tinyurl.com/tt4ckwo clean technica

    “The new T.50 concept also linked above does what the Chaparral did and more. To get more traction, the electric fan at the rear of the vehicle can pull air from under the car to increase downforce and get a better bite on the track at key times. Perhaps more importantly, it can also draw air from key spots near the rear of the car’s body to get the boundary layer moving faster and fill in a vacuum zone behind the vehicle, decreasing drag by 10%. The computerized fan and duct system can automatically optimize the fan’s use for a variety of things. In some modes, it enhances braking and cornering by sucking the car down to the road. In other modes, it can concentrate its power on reducing drag. Supercars are far from the only application for this concept. For example, NASA is experimenting with adding an electric fan engine to the back of airplanes (as in the video above), or having the regular jet engines ingest the boundary layer to help reduce drag on the plane’s body.”

  21. JuanP on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 4:48 am 

    I am very depressed today. Christmas was horrible. I will not troll much today.

  22. Anonymouse on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 4:49 am 

    Thank God Juan! It is getting boring. I do like when you talk about blow jobs though.

  23. I AM THE MOB on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 6:28 am 

    Clogg

    You love strong man because you want someone to submit yourself to. ie fag boy.

    LOL

    The coming civil war?

    I bet Trump would love that because he knows they will build participation statues for the loser. LOL

  24. I AM THE MOB on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 6:30 am 

    Clogg

    2011? Geez, you have to go back nearly a decade? LOL

    Grasping at straws. And according to the Economist brexit will turn the UK into a third world country.

  25. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 7:53 am 

    “And according to the Economist brexit will turn the UK into a third world country.”

    You mean like the US? That’s terrible! You wouldn’t wish that onto your worst enemies!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOMsCUeZ6rw

  26. Davy on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 8:37 am 

    “And according to the Economist brexit will turn the UK into a third world country.”

    Do you mean Anglo Deranged economists, cloggo? LOL. You are a broken record of cherry picked frauds

  27. Where is stupid?? on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 8:37 am 

    anybody heard from Stupid?

  28. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 9:46 am 

    The truth is thw global warming has started ro heat my brain. U can feel the jellification of your brain here in the Nederlands!, Zieg Heil Merkel !
    oh I miss the days I could ride my electric bicycle into the village square!!
    I would wave a my girly floozies and indulge in a full day of snorting and smoking the dope!
    Oh how the cookies made my breasts tingle!
    I still miss the leather whips and leiderhozen of my youth!
    Oh the laughter ! oh the quim!

  29. Davy on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 9:53 am 

    Well I for one totally disprove of this vulgar language!, It is just not right!
    I never had an electric bicycle and the dope cookies we had never made big Ruth more attractive. Even blotto out of my marbles she was no more than a heffer!, 20 mins in the hay on pops farm and shed be wetter than a rainy day in the Hague!
    oh by Jeebus I tell ya!

  30. I AM THE MOB on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 9:59 am 

    Well blow me down and call me a cunt! has this place turned into a confessional or what!
    Davy and Cloggie reliving there crazy days in the band together.
    Well they can go to hell! the band is never getting back together!, like I told them in ’73 when they stile all my cookies and ma favourite bird!
    Damn you JuanP aswell!, your spicy beans made me shit liquid for weeks!

  31. I AM THE MOB on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:02 am 

    stile = stole motherlicker!!!

  32. Big Ruth on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:06 am 

    U bastard Davy! You never returned my calls and stole my stash!

  33. DarkLordVader on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:11 am 

    Shut Up you fucking retards !, you have ruined the integrity of the board with this nonsense !
    I will hunt you all down and penetrate you with my ‘sabre’

  34. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:14 am 

    oh what a terrible discussion!,, the last comment by me was an imposter!
    This website is just really really terrible sometimes I just dont understand you lot at all!
    You are an awful bunch of internet dwelling arsewipes!
    Im off into town now on my ebike!

  35. WinstonFuckingChurchills'ghost on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:18 am 

    According to the economist they have mispelt ‘ Brexit’ for three years!, they meant to call it ‘Democratic Referendum the krauts dont like’

  36. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:39 am 

    Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 9:46 am

    Davy on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 9:53 am

    I AM THE MOB on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 9:59 am

    “Well blow me down and call me a cunt! has this place turned into a confessional or what!

    Davy and Cloggie reliving there crazy days in the band together.”

    You should have waited a little longer between posting these three posts. Even stoopid empire dave might reconsider his idea fixe that it is JuanP who f* up this board rather than our resident kike.

  37. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:41 am 

    Shut Up you fucking retards !, you have ruined the integrity of the board with this nonsense !
    I will hunt you all down and penetrate you with my ‘sabre’

    This board is a perfect mirror image of the state of the imploding West.

    Let’s bury it.

  38. JuanP is definitely stupid today on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:47 am 

    Stupid is up and mad as hell. He is fucking with everybody

    This from stupid:
    WinstonFuckingChurchills’ghost said According to the economist they have mispelt ̵…

    Cloggie said oh what a terrible discussion!,, the last comment…

    DarkLordVader said Shut Up you fucking retards !, you have ruined the…
    Sissyfuss said This article, like most of modern perspective, com…
    Big Ruth said U bastard Davy! You never returned my calls and s…

    I AM THE MOB said stile = stole motherlicker!!!

    I AM THE MOB said Well blow me down and call me a cunt! has this pl…

    Davy said Well I for one totally disprove of this vulgar lan…

    Cloggie said The truth is thw global warming has started ro hea…

    Sissyfuss said The math inherent in this article screams peak oil…

    Sissyfuss said Volume does not equal validity.

  39. Stupid is a jerk on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:48 am 

    Fuck juanPee

  40. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:48 am 

    “According to the economist they have mispelt ‘ Brexit’ for three years!, they meant to call it ‘Democratic Referendum the krauts dont like’”

    Merkel hates Brexit as a loyal US vassal, but she is on the way out. Soros hates it too.

    The Russians love it, btw. Finally they are going to be part of European Home of 640 million, nuclear armed to the teeth.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_European_Home

    The English are looking for trouble again. Last time they tried that, they lost the largest empire in world history to their American “friends”.

    Now they are going to lose their country.

  41. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 10:59 am 

    I’m feeling the blues. Can someone do my man p***y or let me borrow theirs?

  42. JuanP is definitely stupid on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 11:27 am 

    Stupid is really really mad. Fuck stupid the low IQ low life South American

    This is from stupid:
    Cloggie said I’m feeling the blues. Can someone do my ma…

    Mohammadtheoilman said Oh pass me another goat! oh how my goat shines in…

  43. Cloggie on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 11:41 am 

    Evaluating the outgoing decade with der Spiegel. This applies to Germany but is valid for most western European countries as well:

    https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/das-jahrzehnt-in-wirtschaftsdaten-mehr-wohlstand-weniger-ueberstunden-a-1302100.html

    First of all, it was a truly Golden Decade. Income rose from 31,900 to 40,300 in merely 8 years time, make that 30% over 10 years, which is unheard off.

    Unemployment declined from 7.7 to 5.0%.

    Interest rates came down from 3.5 top 1.0%. Borrowing was never cheaper. In hindsight houses will have been much cheaper as anticipated, once paid off.

    Downside: boom real estate prices from 2000 to 3500/m2.

    The world’s 4 largest companies in terms of stock value are all IT and replaced the #1 in 2010: Coca-Cola.

    All debt declined in Germany, a little, from 2068 to 1916 units.

  44. Anonymouse on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 11:51 am 

    Resident kike says….. “Even stoopid empire dave might reconsider his idea fixe that it is JuanP who f* up “this board rather than our resident kike.

    Kloggedrectum, as the resident kike, no one, outside of your inbred cousin, ’empire dave'(stupid name kloggkike, really), has done more to kike things up here than jew, I mean YOU sorry.

    No edit function, oh my….

  45. Anonymouse on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 11:54 am 

    Blow jobs for boys! Good work Juan for trolling the fuck out of this lame site

  46. JuanP on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 11:55 am 

    Thanks Anon, you are swell.

  47. The Board on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 12:07 pm 

    Please. Stop feeding the Davy troll!

  48. full woke supremacist muzzies jerk low english i love cats i love every kind of cats i want to hug cats but i cant hug all cats so anyways im a cats lover and i love to run sry im being emotional im thinking about cats again on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 12:09 pm 

    hey everybody, and for supertards specifically

    merry (((supremetard))) bday
    and may you have a happy and prosperous muzzies free new year

  49. JuanP is fully stupid on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 12:23 pm 

    Stupid, skumbags like you need to be banned

    This is from stupid:
    full woke supremacist muzzies jerk low english i love cats i love every kind of cats i want to hug cats but i cant hug all cats so anyways im a cats lover and i love to run sry im being emotional im thinking about cats again said hey everybody, and for supertards specifically mer…

    The Board said Please. Stop feeding the Davy troll!

  50. full woke supremacist muzzies jerk low english i love cats i love every kind of cats i want to hug cats but i cant hug all cats so anyways im a cats lover and i love to run sry im being emotional im thinking about cats again on Thu, 26th Dec 2019 12:23 pm 

    I feel I shouldn’t use low English because supertard Fitzgerald is against it. He said “below list” which is indicative of low I Indian English most frequently being employed by dotheads. I see a lot of “please revert” and “per our telephonic conversation”. But anyway for the bill to grant citizenship to muzzies persecuted refugees I allowed dotheads full power to write Indian English and to write buggy software that crashed the 737 and British airways and Spirit. Hey it may take me out too but that’s ok

    Supertard piece about ELLE magazine and muzzies conference part tres earned him highest accolades. I hereby appoint him immediate successor to supertard big muzzie beard followed by supertard harrod.

    Congrats to supertard Fitzgerald and harrod. Supertard Fitzgerald is guardian supreme of high English and keeper of the museum of history on muzzies.

    Merry (((supremetard)))b’day to both
    May supertards new year be full of love glory peace riches and may their new year be muzzies free

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