Scoping Study on Trends in the Economic Value of Electricity Reliability to the U.S. Economy

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During the past three years, working with more than 150 organizations representing public and private stakeholders, EPRI has developed the Electricity Technology Roadmap. The Roadmap identifies several major strategic challenges that must be successfully addressed to ensure a sustainable future in which electricity continues to play an important role in economic growth. Articulation of these anticipated trends and challenges requires a detailed understanding of the role and importance of reliable electricity in different sectors of the economy. This report is intended to contribute to that understanding by analyzing key aspects of trends in the economic value of electricity reliability in the U.S. economy. We first present a review of recent literature on electricity reliability costs. Next, we describe three distinct end-use approaches for tracking trends in reliability needs: 1) an analysis of the electricity-use requirements of office equipment in different commercial sectors; 2) an examination of the use of aggregate statistical indicators of industrial electricity use and economic activity to identify high reliability-requirement customer market segments; and 3) a case study of cleanrooms, which is a cross-cutting market segment known to have high reliability requirements. Finally, we present insurance industry perspectives on electricity reliability as an example of a financial tool for addressing customers reliability needs.

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