Developing a Regional Energy Baseline

Aug 11, 2014 Environment

A regional energy baseline is being developed as the formative step to inform deliberations about our region's energy future and developing strategies to assure our economic competitiveness and high quality of life.  

The energy baseline for the Power of 32 region is a quantitative, data-driven characterization of sources of the region's energy — production, consumption, and various outputs serving to provide a basis for future comparison. 

“The baseline will also provide a basis for shared understanding of macro level energy realities for the start of a regional energy planning and strategy process,” explains Court Gould, Executive Director of Sustainable Pittsburgh. “It’s the starting point to get everybody on a common level of comprehension about our region’s energy systems.”

The project is led by a 20-person advisory committee with national representation. The energy baseline is in development and will be a fact-based regional assessment of energy flows to:

  • Establish a quantified and foundational understanding of energy production, use, and outcomes in the Power of 32 region (32 counties, 4 states)
  • Provide a shared framework and basis for identifying region-specific energy issues, opportunities, and needs
  • Provide a macro level dataset to catalyze an inclusive stakeholder process to identify priorities to be addressed in a Regional Energy Plan & Strategy
  • Establish an initial baseline against which to track progress

The baseline will be presented at a December event, Energy for the Power of 32: Baseline, Plan & Strategy: “Establishing a baseline and catalyzing a regional energy plan and strategy.”

According to Gould, the event will also feature a series of short presentations related to issues and questions raised by the baseline; a keynote address; and a facilitated brainstorming session to start providing recommendations for a process to develop a regional energy strategy.

“The baseline is a catalyst for thinking at a systems level about energy issues,” says Gould. “And, in a good way, the baseline probably will raise more productive questions than provide answers.”

“The baseline and the Energy for the Power of 32 event begin to create an awareness of the important role of regions as the most relevant a geography to address energy issues,” adds Gould. “The event will help to identify the key energy principles and values we have as a region and the most pressing areas of opportunity.”

Visit the Power of 32 website for updates on the event as they become available.