Less demand growth seen for California

California has adjusted its electricity demand expectations downward in its latest revised forecast for 2015 through 2025.

The report was approved during a Jan. 14 meeting of the California Energy Commission (CEC).

Updated projections for electricity consumption, sales, and peak demand are provided for each of eight electricity planning areas and for the state as a whole. The forecast includes three updated scenarios: a high energy demand case, a low-energy demand case, and a mid-energy demand case.

“Consumption in the updated mid scenario grows at a slower rate through 2024 compared to the [California Energy Demand] CED 2013 mid case as a result of lower projected economic growth during the forecast period,” according to the report.

“By 2024, consumption in the updated mid scenario is projected to be 1.5 percent lower than the CED 2013 mid case. Annual growth rates from 2013-2024 for the CEDU 2014 scenarios average 1.66 percent, 1.23 percent, and 0.87 percent in the high, mid and low scenarios, respectively, compared to 1.27 percent in the CED 2013 mid case. Slower growth in personal income, employment, and population reduce the growth rate in the updated mid case compared to CED 2013,” according to the report.

In the 68-page report, the staff report presents updated baseline forecasts of electricity consumption and peak demand for California and for utility planning areas within the state.

The forecast update incorporates more recent economic/demographic assumptions and an additional year of historical data but does not include updates for demand-side programs, such as additional achievable energy efficiency.

The adopted forecast update will be used in a number of planning proceedings, including the California Independent System Operator’s transmission planning and the California Public Utilities Commission’s long-term procurement planning.

Chris Kavalec was the chief author of the latest report.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.