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Overcoming Challenges of the New Paradigm in Integrated Resource Planning

Integrated Resource Planning, or IRP, can be thought of as planning to meet users’ needs for electricity services in a way that satisfies multiple resource-use objectives. The objectives of IRP can include, for example, development, households, and businesses access to electricity services, supply reliability, minimizing delivery costs and environmental impact, and enhancing energy security.

IRP is a process that involves several different steps, including identifying planning goals and objectives, developing planning scenarios and models to assess various options for resource use, selecting preferred resource options, and implementing plans to achieve the chosen options. One of the challenges in IRP is that it must consider a wide range of factors that can affect resource use and the achievement of objectives. These factors include economic conditions, technological change, environmental regulations, and social preferences.

Despite these challenges, IRP provides a valuable framework for decision-making about resource use. It can help policy-makers identify the most efficient and effective ways to meet future electricity needs while minimizing environmental impacts and promoting energy security. In addition, IRP can ensure that we meet our energy needs sustainability.

Best Practices of the electricity industry leaders employ to adapt IRP

Structural trends in the electricity industry are quickly changing the industry landscape. Traditional planning approaches are not well suited to the risks and opportunities caused by the interplay of these structural trends and the attendant uncertainty now faced by utilities. In this document, we discuss several best practices industry leaders are employing to adapt IRP development to these risks, opportunities, and uncertainties, including using least-regret planning, integrating new types of resources, and increasing stakeholder involvement.

This is the first of two documents that ScottMadden will issue about new approaches for IRP development. The second one is one Energy Efficiency and Energy Efficiency Programs

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