A Holistic Approach to Grid Investments
Utilities and their regulators use energy resource planning to support resource and infrastructure investment choices that achieve policy goals at the lowest cost to consumers.
Resource planning takes a holistic approach to meeting system needs. It considers a full range of scenarios, affected by current and potential energy and environmental policies, shifts in the cost of technologies and fuels, market dynamics, and consumer preferences. Effective planning leads to lower-cost and lower-risk outcomes that protect consumers, fairly compensate market participants, and position utilities and other actors to comply with environmental regulations.
Traditionally, resource planning focused on identifying the capital and infrastructure needed to support energy efficiency and grid-scale resource development. But the emergence of distributed energy resources such as electric vehicles, variable renewable generation, and storage has elevated the importance of distribution system investment. Meeting energy needs in the future will depend on investing in distribution and grid-scale infrastructure that accommodates the two-way flow of electricity and services between the customer and the electric system.
The RAP team helps policymakers develop comprehensive planning processes that combine the power of markets with administrative methods to effectively meet system needs. We focus on improving energy resource planning and market processes so that investment choices align with the economic, environmental, and physical attributes of the resources needed to enable the two-way flow of electricity and services.