Yogi Berra had it right: The future ain’t what it used to be.
Planning in the electric industry is basically about ensuring reliability at reasonable costs. For investors it is about optimizing expected return on investments with risks. It has never been easy, but it is more difficult than ever today.
On March 11, 2011, The Great East Japan Earthquake hit very hard and took out much of the electric power. However, there were pockets that managed to provide power and heat during the 2 – 3 days it took to restore the electric grid. One of such pockets was at Sendai City in the Tohoku district.
What do a hospital, an army base and a Walmart store have in common? The answer is that they all improve their energy efficiency and increasingly produce their electric power on site, behind the (utility) meter. Each single site may not represent a big electric load, but it starts to add up. In fact it may be part of the reason why electric utilities are facing lower load growth and in some cases even negative load growth.