A publication called EnergyPost has an interesting interview with the CEO of National Grid, which provides electricity and natural gas in parts of New Hampshire (as well as throughout the Northeast, and in the United Kingdom). He says that using large power plants for “baseload” electricity – a dependable, underlying level of constant power, above which there are peak supplies when usage spikes – is outdated.
From a consumer’s point of view, baseload is what I am producing myself. The solar on my rooftop, my heat pump – that’s the baseload. Those are the electrons that are free at the margin. The point is: this is an industry that was based on meeting demand. An extraordinary amount of capital was tied up for an unusual set of circumstances: to ensure supply at any moment. This is now turned on its head. The future will be much more driven by availability of supply: by demand side response and management which will enable the market to balance price of supply and of demand. It’s how we balance these things that will determine the future shape of our business.”
It’s a really interesting interview, worth a read if you are fascinated (as I am) by the way that the electric industry is changing.
Don’t forget: New Hampshire wants your ideas about what it should examine as it prepares to meet these changes, as I wrote about Monday.