Research predicts big summer power woesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Wednesday February 21 12:15 AM EST
Research Group Predicts Big, Summer Power Woes Forecasters Predict At Least 20 Hours Of Blackouts
A top energy research group is predicting bigger power problems for California this summer.
The researchers, based in Boston, are forecasting at least 20 hours of summer blackouts, and they admit their estimate is conservative.
Other energy experts said that number could easily double, depending on conditions. The prediction comes from Cambridge Energy Research Associates, which is the author of a private report on the California energy crisis.
The researchers made some key assumptions. First -- California can buy power, and the credit crunch is solved.
Second -- the economy cools off reducing electrical demand. Third -- western hydropower will be below normal, only 80% of average. The prediction is that "for at least 20 hours during the summer, demand will outstrip supplies by at least 3,000 megawatts, forcing rolling blackouts that darken parts of the state."
The State Energy Commission did a study in November, concluding, "Electricity supplies (are) better than expected." But those attitudes changed in a new report in February.
A spokesperson said, "California could be close to blackouts this summer, depending on weather and energy markets."
All the experts agree that Californians will face summer shortages and that conservation at home and at work will play an important role in determining how numerous and how long the blackouts will be.
-- Swissrose (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 21, 2001