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Coronavirus / Industry News

March 23, 2020

Nation’s Power Grid Faces Potential Pandemic-Driven Demand Drop

As more states require businesses to close and residents to stay home, the nation’s power grid suppliers face the potential of a dramatic demand drop.

In Italy, according to E&E News, electricity demand dropped off by as much as 20 percent once quarantine measures took effect.

“We’re on day three or four of this [in the United States], but we’ve already seen impacts,” Adam Jones, director of power analytics at Genscape, which tracks electricity markets, told E&E News.

A lengthy demand drop could force U.S. power suppliers to cut back or delay grid or power plant projects. It would also increase the pressure on coal-powered plants, which are already struggling to compete with more efficient natural-gas-powered plants.

“I think the biggest impact could be to development plans for new plants,” IHS Markit Director Wade Schafer told E&E News. “You could see investment decisions delayed.”

New wind and solar projects are unlikely to be as hard hit because they are driven more by federal tax credits.

All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.

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March 23, 2020



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