Be prepared for electricity shortfalls

Countries can soften the blow of electricity shortages by creating emergency strategies to save energy, claims a new report from the International Energy Agency. With an estimated $16.6 trillion needed […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Countries can soften the blow of electricity shortages by creating emergency strategies to save energy, claims a new report from the International Energy Agency.

With an estimated $16.6 trillion needed to meet growing global electricity demand, which is expected to rise 2% every year for the next quarter of a century, the IEA’s 2011 report suggests that planning ahead could be of huge economic benefit.

Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the IEA said: “Natural events such as droughts, earthquakes and plant repairs will continue to occur and pose reliability issues for existing supply. As a result, developing emergency demand‐side energy‐saving programmes as insurance against delays and disruptions in supply may be an effective strategy for many governments to consider.”

Called Saving Electricity in a Hurry, the report sets out three steps to prepare for shortfalls, which occur when demand outpaces electricity available to customers:

Step one: Identify possible shortfall scenarios and project their anticipated cause and duration.

Step two: Identify the main opportunities for saving energy with minimum negative impact on society and the economy.

Step three: Implement a comprehensive package of energy-saving tools, including rationing, pricing, information campaigns and technology replacement.