Natural gas suppliers unable to meet peak winter loads in NE

“For two days in late January, New England generated nearly one quarter of its electricity using oil, according to the Independent System Operator for New England (ISO-NE).  The icing on the cake is that New England residents had to pay oil-fired power plants a subsidy of about $75 million to ensure those plants bought enough fuel oil to keep the lights on this winter.”– Pentland of Forbes

Read more.

Peak-to-average electricity demand ratio rising

According to US EIA, “the highest peak-hour electric demand for the year in 1993 was 52% above the hourly average level while in 2012 peak-hour demand had risen to 78% above the hourly average level.”

So what does this mean and what are the implications? Well US EIA says:

  • “generators called on to meet peak-hour demand are running fewer hours and/or at lower output levels the rest of the year”
  • “likely cutting into generator revenues and increasing the importance of capacity market payments to generators”

US EIA demonstrates to the reader the changes in hourly demand between 1993 and 2012 using a load duration curve.  Some possible reasons for the change that are discussed in the article are:

  • Lifting peak demand levels in the summer relative to average levels for the year
  • Energy efficient electrical equipment and appliances that reduce average electric demand
  • Shifts to a more service-based economy


Check out the Load Duration Curve and Video.