Re: Bitten by NIMBY, CA power system goes socialist...

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Jan 11 2001 - 12:17:44 MST

Apparently, thanks to a mere thunderstorm, rolling power blackouts are
expected across California this afternoon. I think one thing unmentioned
is the fact that demand is hardly inelastic. It has, in fact, shot up by
13% in a single year thanks to a) internet use, and b) the added load of
state mandated electric cars: i.e two things not unforseeable by power
planners five years ago. I know I was warning about it on the Bonneville
Power sponsored conservation email lists from 92-95. wrote:
> I found a good resource for economic analysis of the California
> electrical power crisis. It is the UC Energy Institute at Berkeley,
> Their working paper #074, from
> February, 2000, presciently describes the difficulties facing electrical
> markets in periods of shortages:
> The combination of very inelastic short-run demand and supply (at peak
> times) with the real-time nature of the market (costly storage and
> grid reliability requirements) make electricity markets especially
> vulnerable to the exercise of market power.

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