STUDY OF UTILITIES, EFFICIENCIES
With demand expected to rise 30% by 2030, Keeping the Lights On: Our National Challenge, a new study from Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Edison Electric Institute (EEI) showing utilities how to cut consumption 7% to 11%, is indeed welcome. It will not, however, excuse government and industry of the responsibility for building a New Energy architecture comprised of a 21st century smart grid and 21st century smart technology.
Oh, and one other thing: New Energy power generation.
Diane Munns, executive director, EEI: “No matter how you slice it, we’ll have to build significant new generation to ensure that we meet demand. The greater gains we make in energy efficiency, the better off everyone will be, because we’ll have more cost-effective options for serving our customers…But if we overestimate what can be accomplished, we could find ourselves without an adequate supply of electricity to meet consumer needs.”
NewEnergyNews reported extensively on the topic of coming transmission needs earlier this week. See SOLAR2008: DAY 3 – GRIDLOCK?.
3 points of interest from the EPRI/EEI report: (1) Direct energy feedback devices (aka Demand Response systems, home or commercial building controllers/thermostats that respond automatically to electricity price or demand signals) can cut energy use and save customers money. (2) A 42-inch plasma television consumes two and a half times more energy (250 watts) than a standard 27-inch TV (100 watts). (3) While refrigerators have become more efficient, smaller devices have not – two 30-watt set-top television boxes consume as much electricity as a large refrigerator.
Conclusion: Expect consumption to rise.
Much smarter grids are both possible and urgently needed. But no matter how smart the grid is, the nation and the world need New Energy. The sooner the building of solar and wind and ocean power plants starts, the sooner the spewing of fossil fuel emissions and the piling up of nuclear waste stops. At the same time, smarter grids with greater capacity and a myriad of efficiency measures must become standard features of the New Energy architecture.
Which is just another reason it is so hard to believe Congress is diddling with itself over extending the New Energy incentives. Incentives are just the beginning. Don’t they understand what the American people really want is a Green New Deal?
Voters can sign a petition telling Congress to get down to business at Support Renewable Energy Tax Credits
Efficiencies make all the difference. (click to enlarge)
EPRI Analysis Finds Utility Based Energy Efficiency Programs Could Cut Energy Consumption 7-11 Percent
April 23, 2008 (Business Wire via Yahoo Finance)
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) (Dr. Michael Howard, senior vice president); Edison Electric Institute (EEI) (Diane Munns, executive director)
Efficiency is complimented and enhanced by a Demand Response system. (click to enlarge)
Keeping the Lights On: Our National Challenge is a new study from EPRI and EEI showing the utility sector capable of implementing efficiencies to cut power consumption 7% to 11%.
- The paper noted the expected 30% increase in demand through 2030 and reported the 7% to 11% reduction in the same time frame via implementation of efficiency strategies.
- Utilities, regulators, and policymakers are right now debating the best ways to meet rising demand and at the same time cut the U.S. economy’s carbon footprint.
Energy demand is only going one way. (click to enlarge)
- EPRI and EEI experts agreed that to maximize savings, the best technology must be deployed nationally.
- Research is being done at EPRI’s Living Laboratory for Energy Efficiency in Knoxville, Tenn.
- The challenge: Maximize efficiency and at the same time build adequate new electric generation.
- Needed: Present building codes, appliance standards and market-driven consumer incentives will cut consumption 23%. Better ones can cut it more.
- Essential new steps: more consumer education; adoption/enforcement of aggressive building codes and appliance standards; utility business models to promote better power sector efficiency; electricity pricing policies that incentivize efficient consumption.
Efficiency and New Energy - a match made in heaven. (click to enlarge)
- Dr. Michael Howard, senior vice president, EPRI: “This study demonstrates the potential of energy efficiency to offset some of the projected need for new electric generation as cutting-edge technologies become available…We think a 7-percent efficiency improvement is realistic – and gains of 11 percent or more are technologically feasible...”
- Diane Munns, executive director, EEI: “While electricity rates will rise due to increasing across-the-board costs of producing electricity, energy efficiency improvements can help reduce some of these costs to consumers…energy efficiency must be treated as an energy resource on par with new generation.”
- Dr. Michael Howard, senior vice president, EPRI: “We are making remarkable technological advances in the area of efficiency…The question is how much more can we achieve? The key will be finding the will...”