New Generating Capacity Needed To Meet Electricity Demand By 2030

According to a preliminary analysis of potential energy savings released in April, energy efficiency improvements in the U.S. electric power sector could reduce the need for new electric generation by an additional 7% to 11% over the projected amount for the next two decades, if key barriers can be addressed.

06/01/2008


According to a preliminary analysis of potential energy savings released in April, energy efficiency improvements in the U.S. electric power sector could reduce the need for new electric generation by an additional 7% to 11% over the projected amount for the next two decades, if key barriers can be addressed.

The draft findings were presented by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) during the Edison Foundation conference, “Keeping the Lights On: Our National Challenge.” The study examined ways to meet growing demand for electricity, which will surge 30% by 2030, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

 

The demand growth projection would be even higher without the implementation of existing building codes, appliance standards, and market-driven consumer incentives, which will shave electricity consumption by 23%, according to the EPRI-EEI study. However, additional efficiency gains could be achieved only by overcoming major market, regulatory, and consumer barriers.

 

Necessary steps include increased consumer education; adoption, and enforcement of aggressive building codes and appliance standards; creation of utility business models that promote increased efficiency within the power sector; and adoption of electricity pricing policies that more accurately reflect the cost of providing electricity to consumers—and give them the information they need to use it wisely.

 

Diane Munns, executive director at EEI, said the power sector will seek the greatest efficiency gains possible, but cautioned that this will be no easy task and that utilities still must plan for substantial new generation and transmission to assure reliability.

 

“While electricity rates will rise due to increasing across-the-board costs of producing electricity, energy efficiency improvements can help reduce some of these costs to consumers,” Munns said. “To maximize utility investment in efficiency programs, energy efficiency must be treated as an energy resource on par with new generation.”

 

Copies of the EPRI-EEI presentation are available on the Edison Foundation's Web site at www.eei.org



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