of the existing stock of appliances, buildings, industrial and transportation equipment, which can change only as that population is replaced; and finally, because altered price relations can induce adaptations in the technology of utilization only over time. For all these reasons, the full response of demand to recent price changes is unlikely to be achieved in the 1975–1980 period.

For our purposes, it suffices to observe that the demand for electricity must certainly have some price elasticity, and that the prospective increase in the price of electricity may confidently be expected to exert some dampening effect on the growth of consumption; but that, on the other hand, the sharply increasing price of alternative sources of energy, the drying up of supplies of natural gas, and the uncertainties on the part of consumers about the continued availability of oil imports, after the experience of the Arab boycott, will all tend to work in the other direction—that is to say, inducing a shift from those alternative sources of energy to electricity. We conclude that electricity demand will continue to grow, that it will have to be supplied in increasing proportions from coal as well as nuclear power, and that the problem of reducing sulfur dioxide emissions cannot therefore be exorcised by the comfortable assumption that additional generating capacity will be unnecessary.



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