Meeting the Demand for Power
Experts Debate Possible Changes to Texas’ Electricity Market at Austin Electricity Conference
By Gary Rasp
It’s one of the most common and predictable experiences in life – flip a switch and the lights come on. Every day, at work, at home – wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, we depend on electricity for virtually everything. But what if that seemingly boundless supply of energy wasn’t such a sure thing? And what’s the best way to make sure the lights will continue to come on when we flip that switch?
The question of how to ensure sufficient supplies of electricity to meet expected demand – ‘resource adequacy’ as it is known in energy industry parlance – was deliberated recently at the third Annual Austin Electricity Conference, held April 18-19 on The University of Texas at Austin campus.
The Role of Consumers in Ensuring a Reliable Power Grid
Austin Electricity Conference Examines Prospects for Successful Demand Response Programs
By Gary Rasp
Power grid operators, in Texas and elsewhere, must make difficult decisions when the demand for electricity strains the system’s limits. They can add more electricity to the grid by turning on another power plant, but that can be costly and increases toxic emissions. Alternatively, they can lower demand for power by asking consumers and businesses to reduce their energy usage.
Such choices are serious business in Texas because the state’s population and economy continue to grow. Decisions made by operators of the state’s power grid – the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT – could help prevent blackouts and further ensure system reliability.