Although maligned and defined in various quarters by its “alphabet soup” approach to energy acronyms and detailed action plans, California needs to expand its return to comprehensive energy planning with something called “DRP,” dynamic resource planning, according to the chairman of the California Energy Commission (CEC), Joseph Desmond, speaking Monday at the opening session of the three-day national conference of the American Public Power Association (APPA) in Anaheim, CA.

“The challenge we face as policymakers is how to effect meaningful change in the energy business,” said Desmond, a recent appointee to the energy commission by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who Desmond earlier served as a chief energy adviser. “Energy is a highly complex, dynamic area that is changing over time. So to achieve meaningful change, it requires attention to detail, sustained over a long period of time, and that is not something elected officials are generally comfortable with.

“In California, after deregulation of the power markets, we evolved into something I call ‘NRP’, no resource planning, essentially saying just leave it to the market and hope it figures it out. Since the deregulation, we have moved back to IRP, or integrated resource planning, but I think we need to change the focus to DRP, which recognizes the relationship that exists among not just energy matters, but also transportation fuels and the environment.”

The DRP approach, Desmond said, is the framework in which the California governor’s ten-point energy policy should be viewed It is the reason, he said, that the state’s energy future should be looked at as “very bright.” The ten essential parts of the policy are as follows, according to Desmond:

Desmond said if California and policymakers elsewhere are going to embrace change, they need to look at energy planning in this broader scope.

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