I like to submit the following opinion, regarding Write and Wrong, on the November 2004 Issue.
IEEE Spectrum was Right on Target
Contrary to the belief that IEEE Spectrum was wrong, Professor Fred C. Schweppe, of MIT, brilliantly predicted a mayor tech breakthrough in electric power, when he said that ""There is a good chance that by the year 2000 the term blackout (societal definition) will be considered to be a term out of the Dark Ages." The chance has been there all along, except that a powerful lobby has prevented it, by keeping the natural monopoly of distribution related or integrated with non monopoly retail marketing. It took the august 2003 blackout to initiate a Demand Response Resources project at the International Energy Agency, but I strongly believe that the distribution monopoly needs to be totally independent of commercial retail to be functional.
Professor Schweppe "envisioned a world of customer-based electrical generation and storage," which has been happening in the Dominican Republic, for quite some time, missing only the Demand Response System and a truly competitive retail deregulation to fulfill the dream. Just as the DC-10 initiated commercial air travel, electric power systems will fly reliably as well, since Demand Response will enable the system to operate within the Normal Operating State, returning back as soon as possible from the Alert and Emergency States with Demand Response actions. A new supply chain is required in the power business for commercial activities, from generators and wholesale brokers, to competitive retailers, to end-users; while transmission and distribution monopolies are forbidden to interfere with those activities, charging a toll for their services.
José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, PhD
Interdependent Consultant on Electricity
IEEE Member (registered as José A. Vanderhorst, as is one of my sons)
BS '68, M.S. '71, and PhD '71, all from Cornell University