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The Green Energy Institute Releases Policy Report on Least-Risk Utility Resource Planning

January 13, 2015

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On Tuesday, January 13, 2015, the Green Energy Institute issued a report by staff attorney Amelia Reiver Schlusser, titled, “A Safe Bet: How Least-Risk Resource Planning Can Pave the Way for Renewable Energy.” The report discusses how utility resource planning rules that focus on procuring the lowest-cost resource mix may inadvertently encourage risky investments in fossil fuel-fired electricity resources, and recommends that states reduce ratepayer exposure to risk by adopting least-risk resource planning policies. Rather than mandate that utilities select the least-cost resource mix capable of satisfying long-term consumer energy demand, least-risk planning rules direct utilities to identify and procure resources with stable, predictable long-term costs. These policies should reduce ratepayer vulnerability to future cost increases resulting from fuel price volatility or emissions regulations. In addition, least-risk planning policies would likely encourage utilities to invest in or procure additional renewable energy resources, which mitigate long-term economic risks associated with rising fuel prices and environmental regulation.

For more information on this report, please contact Amelia Schlusser at ars@lclark.edu

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