In a letter to EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski, nearly 100 organizations and businesses urged the U.S. Energy Information Administration to reconsider the method used in developing its renewable energy forecasts.
The letter expressed concerned that “EIA’s estimates in past issues of the Annual Energy Outlook for future electrical generation from renewable energy sources in the near- and mid-term have been unreasonably low and have not been borne out by actual experience.”
It noted, for example, that the “reference case” in the Annual Energy Outlook 2013 projected that renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) might constitute only 14 to 16% of the nation’s electrical generation by 2040. However, renewables already accounted for 14.2% of net generation during the first six months of 2013, according to EIA’s own data.
The letter’s signers stressed that “as policy makers in both the public and private sectors rely heavily upon EIA data when making legislative, regulatory, investment, and other decisions, we believe underestimation can have multiple adverse impacts on the renewable energy industry and, more broadly, on the nation’s environmental and energy future.”
Accordingly, they recommended that EIA “re-evaluate the assumptions … being used to develop the renewable energy forecasts for the Annual Energy Outlook and, at the least, provide projections that more closely reflect the real-world growth rates of recent years.”
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