Bill Beyers, the state economy & energy demand forecasting


Professor Bill Beyers recently gave a talk on long-term structural changes in the Washington State economy to both the Seattle Economics Council and the Bonneville Power Administration .  He also helped the Northwest Power and Conservation Council select new experts for is independent economics advisory committee. This Council was created by Congress in 1980 to do electrical power demand forecasting in the Pacific Northwest, and Beyers has advised the Council from its inception.

Here’s their latest power demand forecast:



February 2010 Summary: The likelihood of a significant power shortage over the next five years due to an inadequate supply continues to be minimal. Even if no resource or conservation acquisition actions were taken, the region’s power supply will continue to adequately provide for both winter and summer needs. However, without any new resource development, summer reserves become dangerously low by 2015 and would fall below acceptable levels beyond that date.

However, the Council’s recently adopted Sixth Power Plan includes a 1,200 average megawatt conservation target for 2015, which, along with renewable resource acquisition activities currently going on, provide more than sufficient amounts of new resources to maintain an adequate supply.

It should be noted that the plan’s resource strategy goes beyond simply meeting minimal adequacy requirements toward a goal of developing a cost-effective and risk-averse power supply. And, while actual resource development will vary depending on future conditions, implementation of the strategy should provide for an adequate supply for the Northwest throughout the next 20 years.

February 2010 Summary: The likelihood of a significant power shortage over the next five years due to an inadequate supply continues to be minimal. Even if no resource or conservation acquisition actions were taken, the region’s power supply will continue to adequately provide for both winter and summer needs. However, without any new resource development, summer reserves become dangerously low by 2015 and would fall below acceptable levels beyond that date.

However, the Council’s recently adopted Sixth Power Plan includes a 1,200 average megawatt conservation target for 2015, which, along with renewable resource acquisition activities currently going on, provide more than sufficient amounts of new resources to maintain an adequate supply.

It should be noted that the plan’s resource strategy goes beyond simply meeting minimal adequacy requirements toward a goal of developing a cost-effective and risk-averse power supply. And, while actual resource development will vary depending on future conditions, implementation of the strategy should provide for an adequate supply for the Northwest throughout the next 20 years.

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