Energy End-Use Forecasting
EUF > Publications > Avoiding 'The Big Mistake' in Forecasting Technology Adoption
Avoiding 'The Big Mistake' in Forecasting Technology Adoption

Jonathan G. Koomey

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory,
Published in the Proceedings of the Energex Conference.
Las Vegas, NV. July 2000. (also LBNL-45383)

Abstract

Many forecasters use models estimated based on historical elasticities and other behavioral parameters to do long-term forecasts. The relationships embodied in these parameters are useful in the short run, but mislead and confound when used to conduct long-run forecasts (because policy choices and events will change those relationships in a fundamental way). This analytical error is widespread in the field of forecasting generally, and is particularly common in forecasting energy supply and demand. This paper gives several examples of this "Big Mistake." In addition, it describes how to defend against it in your own work and recognize it in the work of others.

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 Last Updated On: 8/19/04