There’s going to be a lot more ‘demand management’ aka use of price variation, deals with industrial users, and other tools to lower peak demand when it threatens to get too high for a renewables-oriented system to handle. Whether that will always work is anyone’s guess, but seems unlikely due to cost if nothing else.
David Wojick explains how maintaining electricity supply is simple in his CFACT article It takes big energy to back up wind and solar. Excerpts in italics with my bolds. (H/T John Ray)
Power system design can be extremely complex but there is one simple number that is painfully obvious. At least it is painful to the advocates of wind and solar power, which may be why we never hear about it. It is a big, bad number.
To my knowledge this big number has no name, but it should. Let’s call it the “minimum backup requirement” for wind and solar, or MBR. The minimum backup requirement is how much generating capacity a system must have to reliably produce power when wind and solar don’t.
For most places the magnitude of MBR is very simple. It is all of the juice needed on the hottest or coldest low wind…
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March 28, 2021 at 12:12PM