As regulators, utilities, and stakeholders examine the future of energy demand and their options for meeting it over the next 10 to 20 years, detailed analysis and transparency will be needed to make decisions that allow demand to be met reliably, at least cost, and with consideration of environmental impact. In the first of a series of presentations given at the Renewable Energy Training Week in Abu Dhabi, RAP senior associate David Farnsworth examines integrated resource planning (IRP) and outlines the aspects of a successful planning process.Mr. Farnsworth offers examples from around the United States and demonstrates key aspects of IRP, from forecasting and potential studies to the incorporation of energy efficiency and demand response programs. He stresses the importance of detailed, credible, and transparent analysis. Consistent economic assumptions that evaluate both supply and demand-side options to meet the forecasted demand — and a flexible approach to the outcome — are required to develop a resource plan with the best combination of cost, quality, and reliability.