martes, agosto 23, 2005

The Harder you Push, the Harder the System Pushes Back

In the past several days the GMH has stressed the message that the problem is in the system. Using Google, I looked and found in Internet, knowing ahead of time that I would find the explanation of the Laws of  System Thinking. Law #3:  "behavior grows
better before it grows worse
" is missing.Copying Law #2 we can see that:


2.  The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back.


Systems thinking calls this compensating feedback, a phenomenon seen when interventions elicit responses from the system offsetting any gains from that intervention.   Senge suggests that we all know what it feels like:  "the harder we push, the harder the system pushes back—the more effort you expend trying to improve matters, the more effort seems to be required."


"When our initial efforts fail to produce lasting improvements, we "push harder" . . . all the while blinding ourselves to how we are contributing to the obstacles ourselves."  


Such is the effort faced by the new foreign consultant-managers of Edenorte and Edesur. I suggest that instead of wasting time pushing hard to collect, they spend their time in understanding the system dynamics processes which have been developing in the Dominican Republic. Then, with good understanding, take the initiative to change the system. I suggest that the terms of references should let them do that, and no be forced into an unstable intermediate state, where the socio-technical system will keep pushing very hard.


Here we are much closer to the idea of a true efficient power system than most of the countries in the world. Economic efficiency will allow efficient base load generation to be dispatched above 85%, with n o need of peaking central power plant. Demand "peaks" will be supplied with distributed generation under Demand Response.


The Demand Response System will let Systems Operator operate nearly 100% of the time on the Normal Operating State. Developing countries can benefit more than developed countries in the medium term, because most of them have excesses in efficient base load capacity. Such is the case of the PJM Interconnection, where Demand Response initiatives are stalling.


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