Traditional electricity modeling requires updates and “new features,” states LEI’s Goulding

HONOLULU, June 22, 2017 – “What is the role for modeling and planning in a changing landscape?” asked AJ Goulding, President of London Economics International LLC (“LEI”), at the VERGE Hawaii: Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit yesterday.

Mr. Goulding addressed the hot-button topic as part of a panel on Modeling Pathways to 100%: Choices & Trade-Offs which examined modeling and planning pathways beyond traditional resource planning. “As the cost of distributed energy falls, the role for modeling and planning changes,” Mr. Goulding observed, going on to state that the “utility sector is one of the few parts of the economy which is ‘planned’ in the US.” He went on to note that it was possible that “planning and modeling may shift focus from reliability to energy poverty” in the future.

“Modeling to 100% [renewables] depends on assumptions regarding desired levels of reliability,” Mr. Goulding explained. “If we relax assumptions about desired levels of reliability, a 100% renewable portfolio standard is easier to achieve.” Furthermore, the “pace of technological change” is a key component to all modeling exercises, Mr. Goulding remarked, factoring in a comparison that included the steep rise in the number of cell phones and the decline of CDs sold, as well as the increase of the cost of natural gas. Using these numbers from over the past 28 years to demonstrate the changing landscape, Mr. Goulding anticipated a dramatic increase in solar megawatts used in the US over the next 28 years with a substantial decrease in cost. Mr. Goulding concluded his presentation by stressing the importance of a strong supporting framework, noting that good data is essential in moving forward with modeling and planning.

VERGE Hawaii: Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit was presented in partnership with the Hawaii State Energy Office and ran from June 20th to June 22nd, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Additional information is available online at https://www.greenbiz.com/events/verge/honolulu/2017

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