Union of Concerned Scientists article re energy problemsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Wild Wild West : One Thread
Union of Concerned Scientists article re energy problems
greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Professor Stuart Umpleby of George Washington University sent me the following information. Professor Umpleby heads the Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning at the University and maintains a listserve and a website on Y2K at http://www.gwu.edu/~y2k
Professor Umpleby's preliminary comment:
Lately there has been an increase in speculation about the causes of the energy problems in the US -- high fuel prices and high electricity prices on the West Coast. Most articles have said the causes are OPEC and deregulation of electricity in California. The latest explanation is "price gouging." Those who followed y2k say that an underlying reason is equipment failures caused by y2k problems. That is, if y2k repairs cannot be made or recur, plants are declared obsolete and taken out of service, thereby creating a shortage of supply. Below are excerpts from an article by Alan Nogee, "Where has all the power gone?" in Nucleus, the magazine of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Vol. 23, No. 1, spring 2001. (www.ucusa.org) The article does not mention y2k as a cause but is not inconsistent with y2k as a contributing factor.
Quoted material from Nucleus article by Alan Nogee:
"....Even with cutbacks in conservation and renewables and growth in energy demand, California should have been able to avoid power outages this winter. There were no blackouts during the summer of 2000, even when electricity use in the state peaked at 43,000 MW. But when rolling blackouts were initiated on January 17, electricity demand was below 30,000 MW. Where was the missing power? Many observers believe that power generators have deliberately withheld power plants from the market. "Generators are withholding generation to force the prices up higher," Richard Ferreira, a former executive of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, told the Sacramento Bee. By declaring selective plants out of service, generators can crate artificial shortages, driving up electricity prices. During some "shortages" this winter, a third of California's power plants have been out of service, far above historical levels. California's deregulation law, which requires that all power be sold on the daily spot market instead of allowing long-term contracts, may have created an incentive for such behavior. Certainly, it has aggravated the cost of the shortages. A study by economists Paul Joskow and Ed Kahn found that market abuses were the likely explanation for California power prices being higher than can be explained by market forces.
Other regions that have deregulated generation may not be immune to similar problems. A UCS study released in January found that total outages at New England power plants increased by nearly 50 percent in the year following deregulation of the New England wholesale electricity market.
A spokesperson for New England generators blamed the shutdowns on the need to make environmental upgrades. But upgrades are made during planned outages, and power pool statistics show that unplanned outages have more than doubled..."
End of excerpted material from Nucleus, a publication of the Union of Concerned Scientists
-- Paula Gordon (email@example.com), May 04, 2001
Price gouging, what does it have to do with embedded or Y2K?
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 04, 2001.