Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance,
University of Stavanger

No 2016/6: Undressing the emperor: A critical review of IEA’s WEO

Klaus Mohn ()
Additional contact information
Klaus Mohn: UiS, Postal: University of Stavanger, NO-4036 Stavanger, Norway

Abstract: Since the turn of the century The International Energy Agency (IEA) has assumed a gradually more important role in defining the agenda and outlook for energy and climate policies. This essay reviews the methodology and methods behind IEA’s World Energy Outlook, and then offers a critical review of assumptions and projections, focusing in particular on the outlook for economic growth, technological change, and investment in new renewable energy. The analysis suggests that important aspects of IEA’s scenarios are driven by critical exogenous assumptions. Moreover, vast resources and a competent research organization offer limited mitigation for outlook uncertainty, and IEA’s outlook should therefore be approached with the same caution as other global energy projections.

Keywords: Energy economics; macroeconomics; modelling

JEL-codes: Q41; Q43; Q47

26 pages, June 3, 2016

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