In every research, two of the most important aspects that determine the success of the study are the research question and appropriate research design. Once a research question has been selected, the best design to approach it is identified which ensures validity and reliability of the results. Several research designs have been developed which depends on the research nature. In the research question regarding future of global energy, the best design I would adopt is the mixed method.
Based on the research approach selected, it is possible to identify the best design from an array which depends on the nature of the study. Two main approaches determine the research design selected which are qualitative and quantitative. In the quantitative approach, it is based on variables relationship with the goal while the qualitative model refers to describing the phenomenon. Examples of research designs include correlational, case studies, experimental and grounded theory. The correlational design is described as exploring the relationship between different variables through a correlational analysis to determine the extent to which the variables are related (Canyon, 2012). An example is determining the relationship between the efficiency of an energy system and the source such as solar systems. The case study research design identifies a single situation and critically analyse the information based on a specified goal. An example of applying this design is understanding the effect of recalling cars in automotive companies.
Another research design is experimental which is used in a study testing a product and observing if it makes a difference before it is adopted. An example of using such a design is when testing an evidence-based practice in a hospital, for example, the effectiveness of music therapy in intensive care units. The grounded theory research design focuses on understanding a phenomenon or a situation to aid in developing a model or a process (Canyon, 2012). Most common design is the mixed research that combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches. It is used when data and description are required in a study. An example is measuring the effect of performance appraisal in organizations. The mixed approach is considered one of the most effective approaches in research.
I am interested in energy and the future of our electricity production to satisfy the increasing. On the other hand, I am concerned on environmental sustainability based on the current sources of energy such as fossil fuels. Additionally, the world is shifting towards renewable energy in an attempt to curb the energy challenges we are facing currently and also to satisfy the future demand which is estimated to double. With this regard, my research question will be; what is the possibility of renewable sources of energy suiting our future electricity demands and as well address the issue of greenhouse gases emissions? To approach this study, I will employee the mixed research design since both qualitative and quantitative approaches are essential in providing results for the question. Specifically, I will employ the use of both case studies and correlational designs. The reasons for this is to understand the relationship between energy demand and the need to use the renewable sources while on the other hand study some of the milestones regarding the use of renewable energies. Among the studies will be those by Bajpai & Dash (2012) on the hybrid energy systems, Erdinc & Uzunoglu (2012) on designing hybrid systems and that by Lund et al. (2014) regarding the fourth generation district heating. Similarly, it is important to consider some studies such as global potential for renewable energy (Moriarty & Honnery, 2012) and electric vehicles and electric grid by Richardson (2013)
In conclusion, developing a research question and selecting the best research design determines the results and effectiveness of a study. It is, therefore, important for the researcher to consider the best design that suits their study. The mixed research design, one of the most effective is best suited if more comprehensive study results are desired.
Bajpai, P., & Dash, V. (2012). Hybrid renewable energy systems for power generation in stand-alone applications: a review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(5), 2926-2939. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2012.02.009
Canyon, G. (2012, May 2). Research tutorials. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from https://cirt.gcu.edu/research/developmentresources/tutorials/researchdesigns
Erdinc, O., & Uzunoglu, M. (2012). Optimum design of hybrid renewable energy systems: Overview of different approaches. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(3), 1412-1425. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2011.11.011
Lund, H., Werner, S., Wiltshire, R., Svendsen, S., Thorsen, J. E., Hvelplund, F., & Mathiesen, B. V. (2014). 4th Generation District Heating (4GDH): Integrating smart thermal grids into future sustainable energy systems. Energy, 68, 1-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2014.02.089
Moriarty, P., & Honnery, D. (2012). What is the global potential for renewable energy? Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(1), 244-252. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2011.07.151
Richardson, D. B. (2013). Electric vehicles and the electric grid: A review of modelling approaches, Impacts, and renewable energy integration. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 19, 247-254. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2012.11.042
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