Forecasting emerging technology like Solar Energy

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have had terrible projections of the energy market especially in regards to solar and wind.

Quartz and Steinbuch and Ramez Naam among others have covered this massive year over year failing.

In a tweet in May, 2017, the IEA said that their WEO scenarios do not forecast the future but provide a yearly picture of what will happen if nothing changes. They are basically saying that your car will be 400 miles away in 20 hours if it is currently moving at 20 mph.

This was ok when the energy world was mostly static from 1980 to 2000. They had time to adjust their yearly report when price changes to oil, gas and coal slowly adjusted the situation or when China expanded its economy over many years. They just had to make moderate GDP projections over decades to get to new overall world consumption.

They are getting grief for doing no homework in terms of solar projects that were funded and in the process of being built in 2016 for their 2017-2026 projection.

Basically IEA and EIA are not even trying to get their projections right for a changing world of energy.

Ramez Naam has been more accurate in projecting the growth and price reduction in solar power.

Ramez uses a learning curve for solar energy costs based on the doubling factor.

Possibly accurate projections and scenarios for a changing world of technology need to consider physics, projected engineering, supply chains and building up economic models from first principles.