Our pals at wattsupwiththat.com have completed their multivariate statistical analysis of the impact of last night's Earth Hour on energy consumption in California:
The line you should be paying attention to is the red one, "Actual Demand". Although demand was headed south during Earth Hour, that's because of the time of day, not any consumption decisions by hordes of concerned green activists. (Note that Saturday night's actual consumption during that time frame is higher than tonight's consumption is forecast to be at the same time.)
As evidence of that assertion, here's the corresponding graph from 2009:
And, the following day, Sunday, 3/29/09:
As an index of significance, consider the dip around "07" of each graph. That's the decrease in load as streetlights across the state wink off due to sunrise.
Note also that there's no "zero" on the vertical scale of this graph, which tends to accentuate fluctuations, making them relative to the baseload level of around 19,000 MW instead of zero.
If there was a big effect from Earth Hour, you’d see a step event like the street lights at 7AM as everybody turned off their home lights in California at 8:30PM (2030). Plus, the greens don’t seem to realize that no power plants get switched off, so there’s really no CO2 savings. The power plants are run based on demand forecast. Short term spikes from well intentioned stunts really don’t make a blip of difference to CO2 emissions.
WWF [the cranks formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund - ed.] would be better off preaching year round energy conservation than publicity stunts, but unfortunately publicity stunts are what wow the gullible and fill the till.
But in the end, isn't that what it's all about, filling the till?
Cross-posted at VladEnBlog.