The U. S. Energy Outlook Through 1990

  • S. J. Beaubien


Each sector of the energy market tends to see itself as the center of events, with only vague connections with other energy-consuming sectors. The truth, however, is that all sectors are highly interrelated, and the quantity and type of fuel available to one depends greatly on the demands and the relative importance of each of the other consuming sectors. Thus, it is necessary to establish a total energy balance before a credible forecast for fuel can be made, for example in the transportation sector. Once this concept is accepted, it becomes apparent that a still wider scope of inquiry is needed to provide estimates for social, political, and economic factors which impact on the various fuel demand levels. This paper draws upon independent social/ political/economic studies to provide the required input premises for estimating total U. S. energy balances through the year 1990.

The results are given in terms of total energy demand by market sector, and total energy supply by primary fuel. One important finding is that in spite of a decrease in the rate of growth of total energy demand, by 1990 we will require an additional 19 million barrels/day oil equivalents.* Half of this new demand will be met with nuclear power, while coal and oil will provide most of the remainder. Also provided are details of supply and demand for each major fuel source. It is found that while the domestic supplies (including Arctic) of all fuels except natural gas increase, the supply/demand gap continues to grow through 1985 and can only be met by increasing oil imports. A further analysis of the transportation sector by specific oil products (fuels) and by mode (e.g., autos, trucks, aircraft, etc.) is also presented. Here we find that transportation fuel demand, which has been growing at a rate of nearly 5% per year in the recent past, will decline to about 1% per year over the forecast period. Much of this decline is due to a reduced demand for passenger car motor gasoline.

One of the conclusions reached is that the U. S. capability to attenuate demand through conventional conservation measures is insufficient to counter-balance domestic supply deficiencies. Further, to effect a substantial decrease in oil imports before 1985 would require a national program that would impact in a major way upon U. S. patterns of consumer use and lifestyle.


Forecast Period Energy Outlook Average Annual Increase Total Energy Demand Transportation Market 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Beaubien
    • 1
  1. 1.Shell Oil CompanyHoustonUSA

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