The utilities have been telling their investors that demand is about to skyrocket at any second, although just recently a few of them have been pondering whether slow load growth may be the permanent effect of increased energy efficiency.
We've been telling them that for years, but apparently it took an equities research firm to drag the truth out of them.
"Macquarie Equities Research said in a client note several days ago that energy efficiency measures really do seem to be having an impact on electricity demand, and the effect is likely to continue. It’s not just theoretical or wishful, the analysts said. “Unfortunately for investors,” the firm said, “utilities expect this demand destruction to continue or even accelerate.”
PJM used "the economy" as an excuse for cancelling the PATH and MAPP projects, but yet they refuse to consider decreased demand in their rush to construct the gold-plated Susquehanna Roseland transmission project. As well, a hideous, uncoordinated snarl of new wind farms and transmission lines are proposed for the Midwest. Is there really a market for all this new centralized generation and long distance transmission, or will hundreds of billions of dollars of new infrastructure end up rusting quietly in fields as more and more consumers decrease their usage through energy efficiency and drop off the grid altogether by deploying of their own small scale renewable generators?
The utilities who continue to deny permanent change to consumer demand and stick blindly with their 100-year old business plans of centralized generation and transmission will go belly up. Those who welcome and embrace change and seek to develop a foothold in a distributed generation, consumers-as-producers future, will thrive.