Sunday, June 19, 2011

The IPPC muddle

Sensible analysis from O.M. on the IPCC renewables 'scandal'. For example:
Without really understanding costs, how can one go forward to assess the merits and believability of scenarios.

Predicting future demand is as hard if not harder. This is one of the reasons why Vaclav Smil, doyen of energy analysts, devoted a magisterial chapter in his book “Energy at the Crossroads” to the manifest failure of more or less all predictions about the future of energy markets. Closer to home, Dr Pachauri wrote a book premised on the imminent arrival of higher oil prices in the mid-1980s; it didn’t happen. [The Economist] has similar skeletons in its cupboard.

It is exactly because assessing scenarios is so hard, says [Ottmar] Edenhofer, that the IPCC authors instead chose to simply expand on the details of four particularly striking ones. The Greenpeace one was chosen for this spotlight because it had the highest renewable penetration; the median penetration in 2050 across all 164 scenarios was just 27%.

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