Informing Energy Consumption Uncertainty: An Analysis of Energy Data Revisions

TitleInforming Energy Consumption Uncertainty: An Analysis of Energy Data Revisions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHoesly, Rachel M., and Smith Steven J.
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume13
Pages124023
Date Published01/2018
Abstract / Summary

Quality energy consumption data are important for many types of analysis, and global data sets estimate trends of county level energy consumption, derived from country reported data and regional reports. We present a novel basis for informing uncertainty in energy data by quantifying the changes in reported energy consumption as countries update their previously reported data. We use 17 editions of the British Petroleum World Energy Statistics (2001–2017) to evaluate how reported energy consumption is revised over time in aggregate coal, oil, and natural gas consumption data. We find that 70% of non-zero data points are adjusted by an average of 1.3% of a country's total fossil fuel use in the year after their first publication. Earlier data points are revised less often, but almost half of historical trends contain some revisions in later years. The size and rate of data revisions vary over countries and fuels: coal data points have larger, less frequent revisions while oil data points have smaller more frequent revisions, with natural gas in between. A k-means cluster analysis was performed to group together countries with similar revision patterns. These groups span income, economy classification, OECD membership, and regions. Standard country groupings, therefore, do not predict the extent to which a country's energy data has undergone revisions in the past.

URLhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0965-2729
DOI10.1088/1748-9326/aaebc3
Journal: Environmental Research Letters
Year of Publication: 2018
Volume: 13
Pages: 124023
Date Published: 01/2018

Quality energy consumption data are important for many types of analysis, and global data sets estimate trends of county level energy consumption, derived from country reported data and regional reports. We present a novel basis for informing uncertainty in energy data by quantifying the changes in reported energy consumption as countries update their previously reported data. We use 17 editions of the British Petroleum World Energy Statistics (2001–2017) to evaluate how reported energy consumption is revised over time in aggregate coal, oil, and natural gas consumption data. We find that 70% of non-zero data points are adjusted by an average of 1.3% of a country's total fossil fuel use in the year after their first publication. Earlier data points are revised less often, but almost half of historical trends contain some revisions in later years. The size and rate of data revisions vary over countries and fuels: coal data points have larger, less frequent revisions while oil data points have smaller more frequent revisions, with natural gas in between. A k-means cluster analysis was performed to group together countries with similar revision patterns. These groups span income, economy classification, OECD membership, and regions. Standard country groupings, therefore, do not predict the extent to which a country's energy data has undergone revisions in the past.

DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaebc3
Citation:
Hoesly, RM, and SJ Smith.  2018.  "Informing Energy Consumption Uncertainty: An Analysis of Energy Data Revisions."  Environmental Research Letters 13: 124023.  https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aaebc3.