Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. While I do make mistakes, I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct (old habits die hard!) Also, don't ask me why I called it "Volewica". It's too late, now.

BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Peaking duck

This is a joke about the shape of the chart below, which shows the daily load in Caloundra, a town on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.  Note how each year the demand at midday is lower than the year before as more and more solar panels have been installed.  In the old days, peak demand was at midday.  Now the peak is at 6 pm as everybody gets home from work, puts on the kettle, turns on the air conditioner, etc.  As battery costs slide, it will become economical for users to install them to store power from midday to be released in the evening.  If the utilities go on raising network charges, it will pay ppl to do this and go "off-grid".  But even if the utilities don't raise network charges, it will still be profitable for individuals and businesses to install batteries and thus reduce their consumption of electricity, even if they remain connected to the grid.  And as less and less electricity is used, the cost of the grid per kW of sales rises, and so electricity rates have to rise leading to a death spiral doom loop.  Utilities have no idea how to deal with this inevitable development.

[Chart from this article]

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