Imagine trying to manufacture and deliver gifts to all 2 million kids in New York City the exact moment they wake up on Christmas morning, without being able produce or store them anywhere ahead of time. You would either have to maintain toy-manufacturing plants on the roof of each home, or construct a supersonic delivery system with unlimited flexibility. The rest of the year, these plants and the high-end delivery system would sit idle until the next Christmas arrived.
If you’re thinking this scenario seems ridiculous and wildly inefficient, you’re right. So it’s surprising to learn that this is how the world thinks about and builds our current electric power infrastructure. This type of planning process was necessary ten years ago based on the state of the world, but today, advances in new technologies such as energy storage and demand response can fundamentally change this scenario. Keep reading →