Energy efficiency researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have released a new website that in real time shows the total demand for electricity in California and the supply available to meet that demand.
The site at Berkeley shows minute-to-minute changes in California's supply and demand balance.
"This site shows, in one place for the first time, California electricity demand, availability of power within the state, power imports and exports, and capacity out of service in real time," says Berkeley Lab scientist Alan Meier, who headed the site's development team. "We expect that Californians will want to bookmark this site so that they view the power situation this minute."
"Using this site," he adds, "consumers will be able to respond to the electricity crisis by reducing their power consumption when it's most important."
In addition to serving as a real-time management tool for energy users, the site will help consumers better understand the sources of the state's energy shortages -- for example, how much capacity is offline at a given time, how much power needs to be imported from outside the state to make up for the shortfall, and how supply and demand change throughout the day.
The site builds on information provided by the California Independent System Operator, the California Energy Commission and other sources of information. Meier says that the development team will add additional information and resources to the site in the coming weeks, including links to energy efficiency sites and additional background information on the meaning of the data.
"This is one of a number of actions that Berkeley Lab is taking to inform Californians about energy shortages and what they can do to respond," says Mark Levine, Director of the Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division. "We have also released the 20% Solution website that helps the state's residents with advice on how to reduce their energy use by 20 percent in order to qualify for a rebate under the Governor's 20/20 Rebate Program."
Berkeley Lab researchers Katie Coughlin and Robert van Buskirk also worked on the development of the power use site.
Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California. - By Allan Chen
[Contact: Allan Chen]