Energy planning

A Multidisciplinary Focus on Strategic Energy Planning

Energy management refers to the application of science to optimize the use of energy, identifying the most economically efficient means of using energy and designing the system to ensure its supply. This planning aims at optimizing the societal benefits of energy efficiency as well as improving energy reliability. This planning can be applied at the community, national, or regional levels.


Energy management

is usually conducted using interdisciplinary approaches which take into consideration both the contribution of energy efficiency to reducing energy requirements and the impact of increased population growth on the need for a diversified energy supply. Planning for the energy sector must take into account the future projections of energy prices. In doing so, energy system planning identifies the most cost-effective technology options for the foreseeable future. The methodology then identifies the socio-economic impacts associated with changing energy systems.


Energy transitions involve changes in technology,

the structure of the industry, and socio-economic conditions. Energy transitions are necessary to manage the transition of traditional energy systems. Energy transitions include the replacement of traditional energy systems with renewable and other energy systems, for example by the use of geothermal power or solar power. Energy management also involves planning for the introduction of energy efficiency programs to achieve the long-term reduction of energy costs. Such programs reduce demand, improve efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


A comprehensive strategy

must be developed for all levels of society, from local communities to national and global levels. This includes energy research, development, deployment, and monitoring of the new energy resources. Energy managers will identify the key drivers for energy transitions and work towards achieving socio-economic objectives. In doing so, they must ensure that the planning process addresses all current and future energy needs. They must also take into account the potential threats to energy security and the associated costs and benefits of any energy resource transition.


Energy policy

can integrate both environmental and socio-economic aspects of energy transitions. The implementation of a coordinated energy policy with socio-economic considerations will guide and motivate action in energy transitions. As such, the integrated approach has the potential to provide a higher degree of accountability, monitoring, and regulation of energy technologies. This will reduce the risks and consequences associated with energy technologies that are risky in one area and therefore under-utilized in another. For example, a combination of a carbon-based energy source and a hydroelectric power plant in a remote area may be economically infeasible, but if implemented carefully, it may be less hazardous to the environment than a coal-fired power plant.


The combination

of comprehensive analysis and monitoring through some energy-system models and policy frameworks will help to identify policy gaps and opportunities, as well as identify the risks and consequences for the environment. The mix of information will allow the adoption of new development strategies that are economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. The combination of detailed research, modeling, and assessment provides an unprecedented opportunity to determine the most suitable energy technology for a given location. It also provides a valuable venue to dialogue with decision-makers and stakeholders. Strategic energy planning is required to address the key challenges facing energy markets in today’s climate change scenarios.

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