Chapter 13

Crouching Demand, Hidden Peaks

What’s Driving Electricity Consumption in Sydney?

Robert Smith, Ausgrid, Sydney, Australia

1 Introduction

After over a century of persistent growth, Sydenysiders’1 demand for electricity has suddenly waned. This apparent end to demand growth has come at an extraordinary time of erratic weather, unstable economic conditions, soaring electricity prices, heightened environmental concerns, and multiple new regulations. Falling consumption has been matched by slow but erratic growth in electricity peak demand. If these conditions persist it is a positive step in greenhouse gas reduction but creates enormous challenges for the management of the electricity grid and increasing uncertainty about the future direction ...

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