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EMF 3: Electric Load Forecasting: Probing the Issues with Models



Energy Modeling Forum
Forecasts of peak load (kilowatts) and electricity consumption (kilowatt hours) are the starting points in the electric utility planning cycle. As the lead times required to add new generation capacity have lengthened, and the costs of new capacity have risen, the importance of forecasting has increased substantially. At the same time, the growth of electricity consumption has broken with past trends, and the uncertainty of forecasting has widened.

This study was conducted by a working group with participants from utilities, government agencies, universities, and consulting firms. The working group was chaired by a senior utility planner and included model developers and users of model results. The group met four times over nine months to design, implement, and interpret several experiments with the models.

To help utilities deal with the new complexities and uncertainties of forecasting, the Energy Modeling Forum has examined several forecasting issues with ten current models. This report presents observations from that investigation and recommendations for improving the quality and use of forecasting methods.