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Forecasting renewable energy production in the US

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PurposeThis paper aims to present a forecast for renewable energy production in the USA. Growth curves are used to conduct the forecasts. Design/methodology/approachThe analysis is based upon a literature review, supplemented by collection of secondary data. The study then focuses on applying the Pearl growth curve. FindingsThe authors' results show that biomass energy production is growing the fastest followed by geothermal and wind. Additionally, the forecast for solar energy production shows little to no growth over the next two decades. Research limitations/implicationsIf the US government hopes to achieve its goals in renewable energy, considerable funding and incentives will have to be put forth to accelerate the growth of renewable energy. Since the biomass technology is already growing nicely it makes sense to put the additional resources behind the other three technologies to close the 10.3 percent gap being forecasted. The government also needs to put more funding into dual renewable plants such as wind or solar combines with pumped hydro, this will ensure environmental and reliability are both maintained. Finally, for renewable energies to be competitive in the long term, considerable research needs to go into driving down the cost so there is not a need for subsidies. Originality/valueThis study provides value in providing a forecast for expected future growth for renewable energy sources.
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Keywords: Energy management; Forecasting; Renewable energy; Technology-led strategy; United States of America

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2012

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