Resources for the Future
Krautkraemer and Toman
unanticipated changes in extraction cost, interest rate, reserve discoveries, availability of backstop substitutes, and other factors figures prominently as a topic for future empirical research. The empirical evidence also indicates that the discovery of new deposits and technological progress in resource extraction and discovery have significantly mitigated the impacts of finite geological availability on the relative cost and supply of depletable energy resources. While the future holds promise with respect to the development of new substitutes for fossil energy and greater energy efficiency, improvements in extraction and exploration technologies that reduce costs and allow the economical use of lower-grade reserves also are likely to continue.