Never forget that Ebenezer Scrooge was inspired by Thomas Malthus
This Christmas eve, the 65 million Americans who live in between Illinois and New Jersey may be wishing that Santa puts a lump or two of coal in their stockings. That’s because the operators of the PJM electricity grid have declared a rare, system-wide emergency, urging customers to reduce their use of electricity.
“PJM is asking consumers to reduce their use of electricity, if health permits, between the hours of 4 a.m. on December 24, 2022 and 10 a.m. on December 25, 2022,” it wrote in a statement.
Say goodbye to your Christmas lights.
“Electricity customers can take simple electricity conservation steps such as… Turning off non-essential electric lights.”
As recently as December 1, PJM’s grid operators said they could handle the winter cold. “PJM Interconnection and its members,” it claimed, “are prepared to meet the forecast demand for electricity this winter.”
But the nonprofit North American Reliability Corporation (NERC) warned in November that this would happen. “Limited natural gas infrastructure can impact winter reliability,” it wrote. It pointed to the closure of coal and nuclear power plants as threatening shortages.