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PJM long-term forecast sees increased winter demand in the new decade

PJM Interconnection expects higher winter peak demand than was anticipated in the system operator's 2019 report, according to its annual long-term forecast report. Summer peak demand, meanwhile, is expected to remain consistent with 2019.

The 2020 report incorporates "updated data and a significantly revised forecast methodology," according to PJM.

Summer and winter load growth for the PJM region are projected to grow 0.6% annually over the next ten years, and 0.5% annually between 2020 and 2035. Across all of PJM, net energy for load growth is expected to average out to 0.7% annually over the next decade. A total of 839,830 GWh are projected for 2030, an increase of 56,875 GWh from 2020.

The outlook factors in the proliferation of energy-efficient appliances, which are expected to produce "slight load reductions," and wider adoption of electric vehicles, which is expected to contribute a "small boost" to load growth over the next 15 years, according to the statement. The report also forecasts lower near-term growth than the prior report.

Distributed solar power generation's increased presence is also counted among the main factors impacting load growth over the next decade-and-a-half.

"The 2020 long-term load forecast accounts for more data about energy consumption by end-use sector, the growing impact of energy efficiency, the surge of behind-the-meter solar, the historical decline of industrial electricity use in the PJM region, and historical weather patterns dating back 25 years," PJM said in the statement.