Economists at The Brattle Group assisted the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in preparing an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that presents a comprehensive vision for improving the state’s energy future. DEEP released the 2012 IRP last week.
The 2012 IRP, the fourth for Connecticut and the first developed by DEEP, outlines a plan for securing resources to meet the state’s energy needs, while minimizing costs for consumers over time and maximizing consumer benefits consistent with the state’s environmental goals and standards. The strategies presented in the IRP aim to make electricity cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable, while supporting in-state employment. The 2012 IRP provides a ten-year energy outlook for resource needs, reliability, customer rates, and emissions in Connecticut and across the New England regional market. While Connecticut has recently begun to experience some rate relief, and the downward trend in retail rates is expected to continue over the next five years, rates are projected to rise by more than 3¢/kWh from 2017 to 2022 due to the eventual need for new resources, rising fuel prices, and growing Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). Based on an analysis of several resource policies against the Base Case outlook and a number of alternative future scenarios, the 2012 IRP identifies several long-term resource strategies that will alleviate projected rate increases. The IRP outlines the following strategies:
- Expand energy efficiency to attain all cost-effective energy savings
- Pursue existing opportunities to maximize cost-effective renewables
- Analyze renewable portfolio standard issues and develop longer term renewable energy policy
- Periodically review adequacy of local resource supplies for providing reliable generation service during peak demand periods
- Work with ISO-NE to maintain reliability during winter cold snaps
As part of the overall report, the 2012 IRP also included an analysis examining the natural gas outlook for New England and Connecticut in the medium to long term. The analysis focused on changing national and regional factors affecting natural gas supply, demand, price, and deliverability. Brattle principals Sam Newell, Judy Chang, Dean Murphy, Marc Chupka, Steve Levine, and senior associate Sanem Sergici contributed to the 2012 IRP with support from other Brattle staff. To view the IRP, please visit the DEEP website.