I have heard that a power plant will produce the same amount of power no matter what amount of electricity is being used. If this is the case, turning off a light bulb would not help reduce the production of green house gases. If you turned many off, I assume the power plant could scale back.

Is any of this true?

  • Welcome to Skeptics! It seems to me you answered your own question. Please indicate what the notable claim is that you are skeptical about.
    – Oddthinking
    Jan 20 '16 at 5:21
  • 3
    "A load following power plant, also known as mid-merit, is a power plant that adjusts its power output as demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the day" Jan 20 '16 at 8:50
  • P.s. seems like a good question to me - read it as "It is claimed that reducing power usage (e.g. by turning off light bulbs) reduces fuel usage and is therefore good for the environment. I'm skeptical because the number and size of power plants stays constant for years at a time" Jan 20 '16 at 8:53
  • I was about to answer this, but on second thought it is offtopic here. The OP simply doesn't know there's an energy market between consumers, retailers and producers, various market forces make it uneconomical to store any extra energy produced.
    – Sklivvz
    Jan 20 '16 at 11:21
  • 1
    See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Hour for a case study! Coal and nuclear power plants etc can't respond quickly to changes in demand but excess power in the grid can be stored. E.g. Hydro power station turbines can be used as motors to pump water back into the reservoirs to be used later. Jan 27 '16 at 12:41

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