A sure thing in the electricity business for decades was that demand would increase each and every year. Annual increases of 1% or more around the country were guaranteed.
But shockingly, the days of ever increasing electricity demand are over, gone, dead, thanks to the energy efficiency revolution and rapidly increasing large amounts of solar distribution. The power of energy efficiency and distributed solar to drive down electricity demand from the grid is powerfully demonstrated by the news that power demand in the Midwest will fall for the next three years.
Indeed, the Midwest grid operator is now forecasting annual power declines of about 0.75% through 2016. The new forecast replaced the previous projection that demand would rise nearly 1% per year.
To be clear, the forecast of declining power demand is not driven by economic contraction. Indeed, the economy is forecasted to grow, even as demand from the grid falls. That is a stunning turn of events within the electricity industry!