The Wall Street Journal


U.S. Electricity Use on Wane
The Wall Street Journal

Americans are using more gadgets, televisions and air conditioners than ever before. But, oddly, their electricity use is barely growing, posing a daunting challenge for the nation’s utilities.

The Energy Information Administration is projecting that electricity use in the U.S. will rise an average of just 0.6% a year for industrial users and 0.7% for households through 2040.

That’s a far cry from the middle decades of the past century, when utilities could rely on electricity consumption growing by more than 8% a year. Even after the Arab oil embargo in 1973, the growth in electricity demand averaged 2% to 4% annually. But those days may be long gone.

For decades, electricity use was viewed as a barometer of economic growth, but the link has become less clear cut in recent years, partly because of a big push to make major appliances and other products, such as compact fluorescent lightbulbs and high-efficiency motors, that use less electricity. From 1998 to 2010, the electricity used for manufacturing fell 18% as industrial processes grew more efficient.

Les éco-catastrophistes se font un devoir de combattre bec et ongles la croissance économique dans tous les coins du monde, peu importe si cela signifie des pertes d’emplois et une pauvreté chronique, parce qu’ils s’imaginent que la prospérité et l’environnement sont des enjeux mutuellement exclusifs. Cette nouvelle nous montre que ces gens ont tort sur toute la ligne.

En passant, cette nouvelle devrait soulever quelques inquiétudes chez Hydro-Québec…