There have been many energy predictions that were deemed to doom us all that never came to be. Granting the predictors the benefit of the doubt, the claims themselves must stand as they are. In that spirit, gathered below are some of the most historic and gloomy predictions concerning energy that never came true.
Oil prices at $150 to $200 per barrel between 2009 and 2010
This now infamous prediction was made by Arjun N. Murti of Goldman Sachs in May of 2008. A regular predictor of energy scenarios, some of which did and did not come true, he was heralded as a prophet when he accurately predicted the $100 per barrel quote that actually came to be. This particular super-spike in prices never came close to being true, with a barrel of oil costing $91.38 at the end of 2010. Source – New York Times
Gasoline to Cost $9.00 per Gallon in 2015
Back in 2008, ABC ran a news special on what life may look like in 2015. The doom and gloom predictions saw the city of New York underwater, a carton of milk costing $12.99, and many other similar scenarios. It also predicted the price of a gallon of gasoline would reach over $9.00, specifically $9.15 for a regular. In reality, a gallon of gasoline costs from $1.94 in the state of South Carolina all the way up to $3.02 in California. Source – Newsbusters
Peak Oil in 2005
It was all the range ten years ago and even spawned a movie by the name of Syriana. Starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, the movie was based on a memoir “See No Evil” by Robert Baer, a former CIA officer. Although the film does center around Geo-politics, it also speculates that the oil supply is running out, also dubbed peak oil, and countries have to do what they must to ensure they are the ones acquiring the last of it. As of 2015, oil prices per barrel are $20 lower than they were in 2005 ($44.68 in Sep 2015 vs. $61.041 in Dec 2005). Source – Syriana (film)
32.7 Million Electric Cars by 2015
Back in 2009, the future of the oil market seemed shadier than it does now, and the love of electric cars was reignited. Back then, there were only five cars that ran on electricity that one could purchase in the United States, a number that was expected to grow in the coming years. However, given their instability, shoddy reliability, and other limitations, the electric car still hasn’t taken off and remains an item only affordable by the rich who believe in the ideal more than the actual vehicle. In actuality, only about 345,000 electric vehicles have been sold in the United States between 2008 and 2015, and assuming all are in perfect working condition, this only about 1% of the prediction. Source – Auto Blog
500 Million Gallons of Biofuel in 2009
This was the proclamation made by the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007 passed by Congress. The proposed increase was anticipated by the biofuels industry, yet it failed to amply scale up its production capabilities at this pace due a variety of reasons mostly related to the time and cost of producing biofuel. In 2013, only 5 million gallons of biofuel were actually produced nationwide, with the number not expected to grow any time soon. Source – Source Watch
There are many more predictions to come on energy, but it is important to remember that although the most doom and gloom ones may get the most media traction, they also get the most heat afterwards. To read more about energy predictions, click here.