An Introduction to Energy Planning

various laws and statutes

Energy planning can have a variety of different interpretations. In the United States, energy planning is governed by numerous federal laws and statutes that are designed to support energy efficiency and encourage energy conservation. However, one common meaning of this term is the process of crafting long-term plans to assist guide the direction of a country, state, or even the international energy system. As you would imagine, these various laws and statutes are difficult to keep track of, let alone understand.

Among the many facets of energy planning, the foremost function of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the provisions of the Clean Air Act. The EPA also administers the Toxic Substances Control Act, which requires facilities to ensure that new and modified compounds do not produce dangerous levels of toxic emissions. One cannot discuss energy planning without mentioning the requirement of ensuring a steady supply of fossil fuel and other non-renewable energy sources. Ensuring an adequate supply of non-renewable energy and other forms of energy, while maintaining and protecting the safety of the environment is also necessary for ensuring sustainable energy development.

the existence of a carbon dioxide absorption

Beyond regulating greenhouse gases, energy planning also addresses concerns on climate change. Scientific research has demonstrated the existence of a carbon dioxide absorption rate that out pacing the growth rate of plant life. While it is nearly impossible to completely remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, scientists have identified methods that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of energy planning, the EPA has established the National Pollution Reduction Strategy (NPDRS) as a method of assessing the pollution levels in the United States. To achieve the NPDRS, the government will assess each sector of the energy market and provide tailored regulations that will allow the energy sector to meet its energy goals.

Beyond addressing energy security and climate change, energy planning is also required for promoting economic development. The United States has an estimated 4.6% of global oil production, and the country consumes around 19% of this resource. To ensure long term energy planning, there are two primary routes by which energy can be developed. First, federal agencies such as the Department of Energy to implement policies that provide incentives for energy development through the construction and operation of facilities. Second, state governments develop comprehensive programs that include a variety of policies including energy efficiency standards, renewable energy development, and energy policies that integrate the protection of natural resources with development.

element of energy planning

Another important element of energy planning is the monitoring, measurement, and evaluation of our energy supply. This monitoring, measurement, and evaluation should include an analysis of our energy use, our energy supply, and our ability to maintain our energy balance. There are multiple approaches to the measurement of our energy supply. Governmental agencies and independent organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Institute, have developed detailed energy data accounting methods.

There are several energy concepts and strategic initiatives being implemented around the world that involve energy planning. There are also efforts in many countries to develop energy systems based on improved spatial structures. These concepts include building energy efficiency into buildings, energy management through buildings, improving the energy transmission and distribution, and the use of various technologies to create energy markets and increase energy productivity.

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