Abstract for:How Might Consumer Choice Precipitate an Electricity Death Spiral?

Disruption caused by energy alternatives in the United States has caused speculation of

an electricity death spiral, or a positive feedback loop of decreased demand and rising prices

because of concentration of fixed costs. Energy alternatives such as household photovoltaics

(PV) tend to reduce demand in a given region; other alternatives such as electric vehicles tend to

increase demand. A systems model was assembled in STELLA featuring Bass diffusion and

learning curve modules to understand the impact that energy alternatives have on electricity

demand in a small town. While it is possible to model the beginnings of an electricity death

spiral by 2058, this phenomenon is far from likely: only a confluence of internal and external

factors, resulting in an almost complete uptake of solar panels and almost no uptake of electric

vehicles, would precipitate an electricity death spiral. The more likely scenario would result in a

very slight increase in demand over the next forty years, as increased demand from electric

vehicles will just offset the decreased demand of household PV. The risk of a death spiral is low;

however, those who wish to further dissuade this possibility should encourage the use of electric

vehicle usage.