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Where Load Management Could Be Used

Todd Carney's picture
Writer Freelance

Todd Carney is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Communications. He writes on many different aspects of energy, in particular how it...

  • Member since 2021
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  • Dec 23, 2022
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A recent article from Oil & Gas 360 reveals a crisis that is under way for U.S. energy grid. The article pointed out that shifts in population distribution, and problematic infrastructure is hampering the grid.

The Midwest and South-Central regions of the US are the areas that are facing the gravest issues. In the Midwest, many sources of energy are declining, and are not being replaced by new sources at a fast enough rate. The article contrasted how other regions have more successfully used a variety of energy sources to balance against use to prevent outages. The Midwest has failed to engage in this kind of adaptation.

These regions are particularly at risk to hardships posed by extreme weather conditions. Additionally, there is a lack of alternatives available for these regions. While alternative energy sources technically exist, they do not have the storage capacity to fully replace or meaningfully supplement fossil fuels.

The article also noted that increased crypto mining in the US is putting further strains on the grid everywhere.

In response to these issues, the article is urging the US government to invest in upgrades to energy infrastructure and to focus more money on increasing battery storage.

None of this is groundbreaking, but it is a good reminder that US grids are fragile. The issues discussed in this piece are not going away and may get worse. The solutions proposed in this article could be good long-term ideas, but they could take a lot of time. That does not make them unworthy of pursuing, but in the meantime there will need to be other solutions. This is where load management is key. Being able to maximize the grids in their current state can minimize the problems with the grid.

Given that the article is reaching a wide energy audience, they should consider talking more about load management. Energy Central has covered a lot of concrete solutions through load management that need more attention. Furthermore, since some regions are facing more grave threats than others, there are likely more specific solutions per region. Given that weather can create issues, some regions need more specific solutions in light of that.

As the debate on policies regarding America’s grid continues, journalists and policy makers should keep load management in mind as part of the solution.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 23, 2022

The original grid was about getting energy from where it's generated to where it's needed, but the amazing transformation that load management is doing (thanks to things like storage, demand response, etc.) is shifting energy from when it's generated to when it's needed

Todd Carney's picture
Thank Todd for the Post!
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