Sunday, November 30, 2008

Demand side management

The Oklahoman ran an editorial today in which an idea called demand side management was mentioned.
A side issue then was whether the power it would have produced (the proposal was rejected) was needed in the first place. Could reductions in demand negate the need for new generating capacity?

Utilities build new plants — or acquire existing ones — to meet projected demand. Failure to provide for expected demand wouldn’t be viewed favorably by consumers. But utilities also must contend with consumer reaction to increased bills to pay for new plants.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has taken steps to forge a policy that would encourage consumers to save power. It’s called "demand side management” and is part of a nationwide trend to provide incentives for customers to cut their need for power.
It will be interesting to see what kind of "incentives" the Corporation Commission comes up with. I can't help but wonder if they will be anything along the lines of Kim Holland's recently proposed "incentives" to get Oklahomans to buy health insurance.

I suspect that what "demand side management" really amounts to is rationing.

And even if electricity could be rationed and individual consumers cut their consumption, will that make up for the supposedly-desired growth in population and business? This is not even mentioned in the editorial.

This is definitely something I will be keeping an eye on.

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