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What's wrong with the electric grid?

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posted on Oct, 10 2003 @ 03:14 PM
Best suggestion is to ease environmental laws and build more! Hmmmm....

The picture is very pretty too:

"Experts widely agree that such failures of the power-transmission system are a nearly unavoidable product of a collision between the physics of the system and the economic rules that now regulate it. To avoid future incidents, the nation must either physically transform the system to accommodate the new rules, or change the rules to better mesh with the power grid’s physical behavior."

" “Under the new system, the financial incentive was to run things up to the limit of capacity,” explains Carreras. In fact, energy companies did more: they gamed the system. Federal investigations later showed that employees of Enron and other energy traders “knowingly and intentionally” filed transmission schedules designed to block competitors’ access to the grid and to drive up prices by creating artificial shortages. In California, this behavior resulted in widespread blackouts, the doubling and tripling of retail rates, and eventual costs to ratepayers and taxpayers of more than $30 billion. In the more tightly regulated Eastern Interconnect, retail prices rose less dramatically."


"But experts outside the utility industry point to serious drawbacks in the build-more solution other than increasing the cost of power. For one, it is almost impossible to say what level of capacity will accommodate the long-distance wholesale trading. The data needed to judge that is now proprietary and unavailable in detail. Even if made available to planners, this data refers only to the present. Transmission lines take years to build, but energy flows can expand rapidly to fill new capacity, as demonstrated by the jump in trading in the spring of 2000. New lines could be filled by new trades as fast as they go up."

posted on Oct, 10 2003 @ 03:19 PM
Interesting story and informational too. But I live in a province in Canada where we have until recently had 'public power.' That had its own problems also. Massive debts built up by mismanagement and excess which is to be borne by the taxpayer. Spoiled and overpaid employees where maintenance staff earn as much as the starting salary of a local MBA grad.

But a better system must be found. Any suggestions anyone?

Oh by the way this map integrates Canadian generation with that of the US too. Where is Mexico?

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