Conclusion: Prospects and Scenarios

  • Bertrand Chateau
  • Bruno Lapillonne
Part of the Topics in Energy book series (TENE)


The analysis of past energy consumption as weh as the methodological reflections upon forecasting inevitably lead one to question the extrapolation over a long period of time, in both principle and practice: 1980–2000 will not be a “remake” of 1960–1980, and France, Federal Repubhc of Germany or Italy wiU probably never have the same per capita energy consumption level as that of present day America. In the energy field, as in most other fields, the importance of the past fades with time and gives way to today’s and tomorrow’s decisions and events. The most current mode of extrapolation — the pursuit of growth exponentials — has aheady been denounced by the Club of Rome [1]: to illustrate and to reinforce the latter’s arguments, should we calculate the temperature at which people should heat their homes and the number of hours they should spend in their cars, which are imphcit to an exponential growth? This seems obvious and would not deserve any further attention if the extrapolation and the belief in a hypothetical determmism of energy demand has not underlain many decisions, taken by energy producers and governments, which will be of the uttermost importance for society in the next few decades. Indeed, it is because of this behef in the inevitable “pomts of growth” of energy demand that the possibihties of new energy forms are cast aside, that large scale energy production techniques are justified, and that physical shortage of fossil fuels is considered as inevitable.


Energy Demand Energy Policy Freight Transport Growth Scenario Technical Choice 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bertrand Chateau
    • 1
  • Bruno Lapillonne
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut Economique et Juridique de l’EnergieGrenobleFrance

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