Resource Planning Practices and Trends

The EMP Group has been a leader in critically evaluating and informing the development of utility resource planning practices since the emergence of least-cost or integrated resource planning in the 1980s. Much of the current work involves evaluating resource plans developed by utilities and regional transmission planning entities, to characterize trends and identify emerging best practices. This work helps regulators and planning practitioners benchmark and refine their analyses, and it informs Berkeley Lab’s direct technical assistance to state, regional, and national entities engaged in electric system planning.

Current topics include:

  • Load forecasting methods and scenario analysis in utility resource plans
  • Evaluating and accounting for energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed generation within utility resource plans
  • Assumptions and methods for evaluating solar, wind, and other renewables within utility resource plans
  • Methods and techniques for analyzing risk and uncertainty in resource planning studies
  • Assessing the impact of resource planning processes on procurement decisions
  • Strategic benefits of transmission investments, including those that may not typically be captured within planning studies
  • Transmission planning studies developed by FERC Order 1000 regional entities




Wilkerson, Jordan, Peter H Larsen, and Galen L Barbose. "Survey of Western U.S. Electric Utility Resource Plans." Energy Policy 66 (2014) 90-103. LBNL-6545E.









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Nadel, Steven M, Jennifer Jordon, Joseph H Eto, and Maxwell Kelley. "Gas DSM - Opportunities and Experiences." Sixth National Demand-side Management Conference - Making a Difference. Miami Beach, Florida: Electric Power Research Institute, DOE, Edison Electric Institute , 1993.