16 September 2012


Arnold Kling has some clever ideas about reforming PEPCO.

Ultimately I think Kling's idea of tiered service — paying more for guaranteed uptime — will be too unpopular to be workable. When push comes to shove in the après-storm, the people who freely opted not to pay extra for quicker restoration will be able to bring too much populist pressure to bear against the people did make such payments. It doesn't matter how carefully you structure the arrangements. The popular perception in DC will still be "OMG the rich white people are getting their power turned on first! PEPCO is racist!!!"

Nevertheless, this is orders of magnitude more sophisticated thinking than the thousands of people in DC who are simultaneously demanding that PEPCO rebuild their infrastructure with buried power lines and complaining about high prices.

1 comment:

  1. There is one other portion of the electric power industry that has a worse record on reliability - the renewable power providers (i.e., wind and solar). The solar providers can predict when the sun will rise or set, but not when the clouds will come by and cover all their arrays. The wind people are even worse, because they shutdown production when the wind is too weak, or if it is too strong.

    Maybe we need to have these parts of the power production business try to implement Mr. Kling's solutions first, as a trial. All those people who think that renewables are great should have their electricity cut off at night, or when the wind doesn't blow, and they can see what it would be like and tell us about it. I am sure that they would find it just swell.