Quality, Negawatts and the End of Coal?

 It is now many years, 1989, since Amory Lovins first suggested the concept of Negawatts, which encapsulates the idea that it is more cost effective to ‘do the right thing’ by investing in the effective use of energy rather than ‘doing the wrong thing right’; by just as ‘efficiently’ as possible, generating more electrical energy to meet largely ineffective use. http://www.ccnr.org/amory.html

What we are failing to understand is that this, and all our problems are quality issues and in the process confusing ourselves. In the forward to Frank Price’s 1984 book ‘Right First Time’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Right-First-Time-Quality-Control/dp/0704505223, Sir Alastair Pilkington FRS, in his Foreword said ” The reality in any company is that everyone is in the same ship and, by pulling in the same direction, will become efficient. ….. for this reason, quality …… should be carefully woven into the fabric. It should not be seen as a separate activity…. It is part of the whole process of responding to the needs of the market place.”

Slightly edited for brevity and as I will continue to argue, doing the right thing is being effective, doing it right every time is both effective and efficient.


By Jeff Siegel
Monday, January 5th, 2009

Power Company, DynegyInc. recently announced that it will end its coal-fired power plant development deal with LS Power Associates. The reason? Credit issues and regulatory hurdles that Dynegy CEO said were making development much more uncertain.

While credit issues will likely ease, regulatory restrictions will not. And it is because of these regulatory issues that we believe the future of coal-fired power plant development will continue to taper off – despite increases in energy demand.

With new climate change legislation all but guaranteed, fossil fuel depletion a reality, and more and more states initiating new renewable portfolio standards, power plant developers are going to find it in their best interests to seek cleaner, safer forms of power generation.

In fact, Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) has recently stated that its energy efficiencyplan for 2009 will save enough power to avoid building a new coal-fired power plant. Xcel spent $20 million on energy efficiency in 2008, and plans to spend $63 million this year on programs that will reduce energy demands by their customers.

Xcel also has stated a goal of achieving 20 percent of its electricity sales from renewables within 6 years.





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