Energy Planning – Sustainability for the Future
Energy planning has many different interpretations. Some see it as a framework for guiding a community in the development of its energy needs. Others view it as a blueprint for designing a home and other energy-efficient living spaces. Still, others view it much differently as a tool for helping an individual to make educated and informed choices about energy usage. But one common understanding of the word is that it is the process of designing long-term plans to assist guide the sustainable development of a community, national, state, or the global energy sector.
Although energy planning
is largely viewed as a community-based planning mechanism, some nationally standardized sections address some specific issues. The Federal Electricity Regulation (FEER) is one such document. The Basel Convention on International Environmental Law addresses aspects of energy consumption behavior that are not addressed by federal law. As energy consumption patterns around the world continue to shift, there are many efforts underway to draw together various efforts to address the challenge.
Another area of focus for energy planning
is demand forecasting. Demand forecasting attempts to anticipate future demand by analyzing consumption patterns over time. For example, over the last half-decade, energy demand forecasts have been released more frequently than in previous decades. These demand forecasts help an investor to determine if there are investments that can be made today to better fuel the nation in the future. Many nations, both developed and developing, use complex and sophisticated economic modeling and computing methods to produce demand forecasts.
including the United States, are moving away from dependence on traditional fuels in favor of more environmentally sustainable development. Unfortunately, most developed nations have yet to develop sustainable development strategies. In many cases, this is due to a lack of long-term funding. In other cases, the developing nation must rely on foreign resources to support its energy supply. The Energy Planning Research Program has been working to identify ways that the United States and other developed nations can work together to address these issues.
the uncertainty inherent in the change in fuel prices and regulation is another area of energy planning research. Uncertainty results when markets become increasingly dependent on one another. When the price of oil fluctuates, for instance, it can have a significant impact on gasoline prices for end-users such as car owners and producers of electricity. The uncertainty inherent in the results of regulating the fuel market further prevents the public from taking the steps necessary to manage these fluctuations.
there is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates how improving the efficiency of the energy sector can have a significant impact on reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The need for energy planning and sustainable development is clear. We must work together to ensure that energy use efficiency becomes a critical part of all our daily life. This will not only reduce the strain on our environment but will also strengthen our nation’s ability to meet its energy needs.