"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 website's development team. "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.
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.