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Improving Long-Range Energy Modeling: A Plea for Historical Retrospectives

One of the most striking things about forecasters is their lack of historical perspective. They rarely do retrospectives, even though looking back at past work can both illuminate the reasons for its success or failure, and improve the methodologies of current and future forecasts. One of the best and most famous retrospectives is that by Hans Landsberg, which investigates work conducted by Landsberg, Sam Schurr, and others. In this article, written mainly for model users, we highlight Landsberg s retrospective as a uniquely valuable contribution to improving forecasting methodologies. We also encourage model users to support such retrospectives more frequently. Finally, we give the current generation of analysts the kind of guidance we believe Landsberg and Sam Schurr would have offered about how to do retrospectives well.

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Energy Specializations: Energy Modeling – Energy Data, Modeling, and Policy Analysis; Energy Modeling – Sectoral Energy Demand & Technology

JEL Codes:
E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
Q55 - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

Keywords: Energy modeling, Forecasting

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol24-No4-4

Published in Volume24, Number 4 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.