Statement of Work
Matt Oravetz
Carnegie Mellon University


My work is an investigation in long-term energy usage patterns: the types, the quantities, and the usage of energy resources. Energy usage is important because it is intrinsically linked to many issues of global change (e.g. environmental and development issues). Furthermore, energy use patterns may vary dramatically on the decade or century time scales pertinent to the global change issues of interest to the Center.

A critical issue forcing changes in the energy system is technological innovation and diffusion. Efforts to understand technical progress have been attempted by disciplinary researchers, most often economists or engineers. The assumptions, baseline scenarios, and resulting policy recommendations from each camp have diverged wildly. Thus, the issue of technical change and energy usage patterns is natural area for application of the methods of integrated study for the Center.

I will focus my research on the role of technical change in the end-use domain since this is of greater relevance to the human dimensions aspect of our work (although it must be noted that supply and end-use technical change may not be so easily separable).

Without entering into the details of the Bayesian Updating methodology (it should be noted however that the technique does offer some significant improvements over others commonly used in the literature), let me mention briefly the issues I will explore. I have already completed a macro-level study of the changes in energy-efficiency for the most recent 40 years of the US economy. Next, I will be performing some international comparisons over the same time period to elucidate each of the following two questions:

- How does the state of industrialization of a country effect the rates of energy-efficiency improvement?

- How does a country's ability to supply its energy needs effect the rates of energy-efficiency improvement?

Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change
Department of Engineering and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

(412) 268-1087

Last Update : 21 June, 1996