There is an important new approach to managing today’s electricity grid in the United States and beyond. Demand response (DR) – temporary changes to electric loads in reaction to conditions in the grid – is increasingly seen as a central component of the “smart grid” of the future. In the U.S., the aggregate impact of DR is estimated at 58 GW, or 7.6 percent of the peak demand,up 42 percent from two years ago. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) views the potential for further cost-effective DR to reach as much as 20 percent of the system peak. Today, the cost-benefit analysis for DR is underway for electric systems around the world. Proponents point to cost savings, potential environmental benefits, and increased reliability as reasons to invest in a more responsive electric system.

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Drivers of Demand Response Adoption: Past, Present, and Future