Predicting fuelwood prices in Greece with the use of ARIMA models, artificial neural networks and a hybrid ARIMA-ANN model
Throughout history, energy resources have acquired a strategic significance for the economic growth and social welfare of any country. The large-scale oil crisis of 1973 coupled with various environmental protection issues, have led many countries to look for new, alternative energy sources. Biomass and fuelwood in particular, constitutes a major renewable energy source (RES) that can make a significant contribution, as a substitute for oil. This paper initially provides a description of the contribution of renewable energy sources to the production of electricity, and also examines the role of forests in the production of fuelwood in Greece. Following this, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models, artificial neural networks (ANN) and a hybrid model are used to predict the future selling prices of the fuelwood (from broadleaved and coniferous species) produced by Greek state forest farms. The use of the ARIMA-ANN hybrid model provided the optimum prediction results, thus enabling decision-makers to proceed with a more rational planning for the production and fuelwood market.
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