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CPBJ Extra Blog

Less is more, and not just as a slogan

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More power.

To meet a growing population and the hunger of all of the gadgets so many of us buy and stare at in some Borg-like fashion, we need it. Right?

Well, yes. But maybe not as much as we think.

I've dealt a lot with this concept this fall: Electricity demand can be thought of not so much as something that is met with generation. It's something that is balanced, and lower demand is just as good as higher supply. Or at least that's the way I'm coming to see it.

And regional grid operator PJM Interconnection is increasing payments to demand response participants, according to a report.

Dialing back the AC or similar steps is a significant way to help balance supply and demand — especially as supply is dropping as coal plants are retired.

And I think it's a great way of spreading risk and rewards across the business community.

After all, how many of us supply power into the grid? In the era of solar and wind, maybe more than it used to be. But it's safe to say more of us have air conditioning and could bump it up a few degrees in the afternoon for a fee.

The new world order: Less power is more power. In fact, since we can get paid for it, it might be better.

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey covers York County, agribusiness, energy and environment, and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at brentb@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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