Research press release


Nature Energy

US energy industry getting harder to predict



こうした予測の誤差の傾向を調べるため、Ines Azevedoたちはまず、1952年から2015年における石油価格などのエネルギーに関する重要な量の年次変化を算出し、前年比不安定性(year-on-year volatility)と名付けた。また、こうした変化は平均するとこの10年間で最も大きいことが明らかになった。次に彼らは、このような不安定性が予測誤差に与える影響を調べるため、燃料の価格設定、生産量、および消費量を含む重要な値について、1982年に開始された米国エネルギー情報局の年次予測とその後の実際の値とを比較した。その結果、不安定性が増した結果として、過去10年間の予測誤差が実際に大きくなっていることが分かった。このような不安定性の増大は、政策と投資戦略の適応性を高める必要があることを浮き彫りにしていると思われ、今回の知見は、石油価格だけでなく、将来の天然ガス料金や電力料金もより不安定になることを示している可能性がある。

The United States energy industry has become both more unpredictable and more volatile in the past decade, with a relatively high number of extreme variations from annual trends, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Energy.

Markets and policy makers rely on forecasts of energy demand, supply and prices - such as those made by the US Energy Information Administration and the International Energy Agency - to make decisions about short - and long-term energy policies and trading. The complexity of the global energy industry, however, means that although these forecasts are not expected to be 100 per cent accurate, decision makers still rely on them, especially during periods of relative stability.

To investigate the trend in these forecast errors, Ines Azevedo and colleagues first calculated the change in key energy quantities (such as oil prices) over each year between 1952 and 2015, which they term the year-on-year volatility. They found that on average these changes were highest during the most recent decade studied. To study the impact of this volatility on forecast errors they compared the US Energy Information Administration’s annual predictions - which began in 1982 - with subsequent real-world values for key quantities including fuel pricing, production and consumption. They show that projection errors have indeed risen in the past decade, as a result of the increasing volatility. This increasing volatility may highlight the need for greater adaptability in policy and trading strategies, and the findings may translate into more uncertainty around future natural gas and electricity bills, as well as petrol prices.

doi: 10.1038/s41560-018-0121-4


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