Monday, November 24, 2008

Is The New Economic Indicator Signalling That Smart Grid Plans Are On Hold?

From W.S.J.
A drop in power use, disrupts utility industry.

An unexpected drop in U.S. electricity consumption has utility companies worried that the trend isn't a byproduct of the economic downturn, and could reflect a permanent shift in consumption that will require sweeping change in their industry.

compel major changes in the way utilities run their businesses. Utilities are expected to invest $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion by 2030 to modernize their electric systems and meet future needs, according to an industry-funded study by the Brattle Group.

if electricity demand is flat or even declining, utilities must either make significant adjustments to their investment plans or run the risk of building too much capacity.

But what has executives stumped is that recent shifts appear larger than others seen previously.

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