Monday, November 9, 2015

Free electricity?

Check out this interesting story from the NY Times.  Lots of economics in there. 

6 comments:

Eric Quigley said...

Sign me up for free night time electricity! The opportunities that are discussed in the article are interesting, but the fact that Texas is it's own unique animal with respect to electricity really makes me question the effectiveness of this idea in other regions. I'm sure that the deregulation that Texas has would be difficult to implement in other regions due to social or political influences and also poses problems if the energy isn't from a renewable resource. When I lived in Rhode Island, several communities passed laws dictating when the wind generators could be used citing residential noise complaints, mainly at night, that would hinder the free nighttime electricity movement like Texas has.

Joseph Small said...

This is interesting to me because I was under the impression that wind energy is inefficient. After reading this I did a little more research myself and found a lot of differing opinions... I doubt Texas would offer free energy if they were losing money on it.

I know I don't know the sector very well, but imagine if energy companies could find a way to store this energy for longer periods of time. If they could take the energy produced overnight and redistribute it throughout the day when more energy is consumed, imagine the competitive advantage that company would have.

I'm am undecided on if this concept of free energy is teaching people to be more conservative or not. I know this is cleaner energy we are talking about, but if you can teach people to be conservative in some aspects of life, I would imagine that would transfer into other areas of life as well. I personally think this is causing some customers to be wasteful. I just hope that doesn't reflect on other areas of their life and cause more waste per person.

Charles Elder said...

This would be great if we had it in NC! However I agree with Eric in the fact that Texas is its own unique animal and it would be very tough to apply some of those ideas on the east coast. I think that if energy did become free that people would use so much of it so quickly that it would not be sustainable. Great article to read!

Sam Kelsey EVS330 said...

It seems that wind power in the flat lands is one thing when compared to off our coast. Shame. Great practice though. Almost seems like power companies are subsidizing their own power. Great long term growth model for energy that is free to generate. Reminds me of debt for nature swap on a small scale. Slowly but surely I am seeing more initiative being taken on a local/state wide scale. Refreshing.

Shelby White said...

Before I even finished reading this article, I noticed issues of equity and sustainability with free nighttime electricity. While it is an ideal program that be great to have nationwide, eventually this wind power will not be able to support each individual that wants to engage in this offer. What happens when more and more people start to utilize this free electricity? People will inevitably become more wasteful, even with clean energy. When the amount of waste generated increases, the availability of energy will start to decrease. The power of these wind farms is finite and will not continue to have excess energy without constructing more and more. Then there is an equity issue to deal with. Can we limit the number of people that can utilize this free energy, or is it infinite? If we have to limit the number of people, then how do you determine who can continue and must be turned away? This program is only going to increase the amount of wastefulness that we are trying to battle and cause more sustainability issues nationwide.

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