Integrated Investment and Resource Planning Is Key for Utilities of the Future

In the January 2022 issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly, Guidehouse addresses the need for a holistic approach to navigating the energy transition

In the January issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly (PUF), Hector Artze, partner at Guidehouse, examines the need for integrated utility investment and resource planning with the growing complexity of the industry landscape. As policies and regulations demand varying levels of compliance and customers and investors are increasingly focused on decarbonization initiatives, utility investment and resource planning can no longer be siloed. 

“The utilities of the future must take a holistic and optimized approach to navigate the complexity of the changing energy landscape and to better manage considerable risks around cost, reputation, and reliability,” he said.

Artze adds that distributed energy resources (DER) are projected to grow significantly. Because of the significant capacity added by DER, utilities' generation investments need to account for these resources, as planning without net-zero generation and DER in mind could result in increasing the cost of electricity and impact customer satisfaction, utilities’ reputations, and their balance sheets.

“Many utilities are currently underestimating future growth in DER, and thus not properly anticipating their effect on current distribution, transmission, and generation plans,” explained Artze. 

The January issue also discusses the challenges and opportunities facing the utilities industry at the start of a new year and features insights from Jan Vrins, partner and leader of Guidehouse’s Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure segment, and Guidehouse partner Michelle Fay.

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