Forecasting methods in energy planning models

Kumar Biswajit Debnath*, Monjur Mourshed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

231 Citations (Scopus)
2036 Downloads (Pure)


Energy planning models (EPMs) play an indispensable role in policy formulation and energy sector development. The forecasting of energy demand and supply is at the heart of an EPM. Different forecasting methods, from statistical to machine learning have been applied in the past. The selection of a forecasting method is mostly based on data availability and the objectives of the tool and planning exercise. We present a systematic and critical review of forecasting methods used in 483 EPMs. The methods were analyzed for forecasting accuracy; applicability for temporal and spatial predictions; and relevance to planning and policy objectives. Fifty different forecasting methods were identified. Artificial neural network (ANN) is the most widely used method, which is applied in 40% of the reviewed EPMs. The other popular methods, in descending order, are: support vector machine (SVM), autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), fuzzy logic (FL), linear regression (LR), genetic algorithm (GA), particle swarm optimization (PSO), grey prediction (GM) and autoregressive moving average (ARMA). Regarding accuracy, computational intelligence (CI) methods demonstrate better performance than that of the statistical ones, in particular for parameters with greater variability in the source data. Moreever, hybrid methods yield better accuracy than that of the stand-alone ones. Statistical methods are used for only short and medium range, while CI methods are preferable for all temporal forecasting ranges (short, medium and long). Based on objective, most EPMs focused on energy demand and load forecasting. In terms, geographical coverage, the highest number of EPMs were developed in China. However, collectively, more models were established for the developed countries than the developing ones. Findings would benefit researchers and professionals in gaining an appreciation of the forecasting methods and enable them to select appropriate method(s) to meet their needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-325
Number of pages29
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date15 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • energy demand
  • energy planning models
  • Forecasting methods
  • load forecasting
  • prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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