Electricity Shortage?

By Spencer, Peter L. | Consumers' Research Magazine, December 1992 | Go to article overview

Electricity Shortage?


Spencer, Peter L., Consumers' Research Magazine


If the economy picks up as expected, we might have shortages in our electricity supply by the end of the decade--simply because we won't have enough power plants to make enough power. The effects of declining capacity, including so-called brownouts and blackouts in densely populated, energy-intensive areas such as the East Coast, could appear even sooner.

These concerns are not new among energy analysts. CR reported nearly three years ago that a leading power-supply forecaster predicted "power shortages and blackouts would be |unavoidable' along areas of the East Coast and more likely throughout the rest of the country within the next two years."

The slow economy since the appears to have reduced the rate of increase in demand for power over the past couple of years.

The problem, according to energy consultant John Sillin, is that as the economy grows again, so does demand for electricity (usually at a somewhat faster pace). But utilities won't be able to keep up with rising demand due to various aspects of utility regulation that have dampened the production of electric power in recent years.

"The principal reason for this is that economic regulation of electric utilities has become so perverse that they are discouraged, indeed they are penalized for making investments that are in the long-term best interest of their customers and the nation at large," Sillin writes in the fall issue of NWI Resource, a publication of the National Wilderness Institute. "Over the past 15 years utilities have been forced to write off some $12 billion in new plants."

A number of factors will contribute to a rebound in electricity demand: environmental regulations, which will make use of electricity more attractive than other sources of energy; declining electricity prices, which have already dropped 24% relative to inflation since 1982; and a growing population with higher real incomes will increase demand for more homes "loaded with electricity-consuming devices such as refrigerators and heaters."

Sillin estimates that if the economy picks up to a level of growth equivalent to what has been the the norm over the past 20 years and averages "2.5% for the remainder of the 1990s (it's averaged 2.7% since 1970), electricity demand would grow at a rate of 3.8%--double the rate that electric utilities and the U.S. Department of Energy are presently forecasting, and nearly three times the rate that new generating capacity is projected to be added. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Electricity Shortage?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.