Economic & Social Valuation

Strengthening the reliability and resilience of the power system

Economic & Social Valuation

We develop decision support frameworks and tools for evaluating investments in power system reliability and resilience.

EMP’s economic and social valuation research focuses on quantifying the value of interrupted electricity service, as well as developing frameworks and tools so users can quantify electric service interruption impacts in their own service territories. We are interested in estimating the direct economic impacts (e.g., cost of spoiled food for residential customers, loss of productivity for commercial customers) and indirect economic impacts (e.g., supply chain disruptions) as well as social impacts (e.g., increase in morbidity or mortality rates) resulting from local, short-duration and widespread, long-duration power interruptions. 

EMP’s Hybrid Approach to Estimating the Economic Value of Enhanced Power System Resilience is a recent example framework that combines a contingent valuation methodology and a computational general equilibrium model to estimate micro- and macro-economic impacts of power outages. The Power Outage Economics Tool (POET) project also demonstrates this hybrid valuation approach. Berkeley Lab research into the costs and benefits of undergrounding power lines is an example of implementing a framework to evaluate specific investment decisions. The Framework for Overcoming Natural Threats to Islanded Energy Resilience (FRONTIER), a decision support tool, helps islanded utilities evaluate the costs and benefits of actions to improve power system resilience. Another tool is the Interruption Cost Estimate (ICE) Calculator, an online system providing information to decision-makers about the costs of brief, localized power interruptions – or the value of investments in reliability.

Selected Projects

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Recent Publications

Economic Value of Reliability & Resilience