The boom in natural gas production and renewable energy production has an interesting companion. Energy efficiency, demand response, and old-fashioned energy conservation are all booming too. Far too little attention is being paid to the booming demand side of the energy markets that is powerfully shaping them.
For example one result of the demand side boom is that nobody should take for granted any longer that electricity demand increases 1.5% or more per year or even increases at all. The Energy Information Administration projects that electricity demand will fall 0.5% in 2012, after increasing a miniscule 0.3% in 2011. See the EIA December 2011 Short Term Energy Outlook at http://www.eia.gov/.
These numbers deepen the trend to record low-increases in electricity demand that the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC) documents in its 2011 Long-Term Electricity Reliability Report.
Structural changes in energy markets like the increase in demand response from 30,000 megawatts to 43,000 megawatts between 2010 and 2011 are driving down at a minimum the rate of electricity demand increases and could even be flattening out electricity demand.