“California’s Duck Curve Hits Record Lows”

From MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr.

The forced energy transformation crowd continues to be in denial about how badly the California grid has been compromised by wind and solar, how expensive the battery solution is, and the prospect of Big Brother in the home (setting temperatures and restricting power use at will). As Ludwig von Mises observed, the failure of government intervention leads to more and more intervention, posing a choice between free markets and Leviathan.”

Social media is where the industry experts and talented professionals are effectively challenging the “magical thinking” behind climate alarmism/forced energy transformation, given the blackout of the mainstream media. As yet another example, Mike Hassaballa, energy engineer and consultant, reported on LinkedIn: “California’s Duck Curve Hits Record Lows.” His comment and graphics follow.

———————

The famous “Duck Curve” that symbolizes the challenges of integrating renewable energy into the grid has reached an all-time low.

The Duck Curve, initially coined by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), illustrates the daily electricity demand and supply patterns in California. Its distinctive shape resembles a duck with its head and neck representing the daily net load, i.e., the difference between electricity demand and generation.

But why is this curve so important? The Duck Curve showcases the impact of renewable energy sources, particularly solar power, on the grid. As solar panels proliferate across California, the curve’s belly – symbolizing midday surplus energy – has been steadily growing. This phenomenon poses a challenge as it can result in excess electricity during the day, followed by a rapid ramp-up in demand as the sun sets. Managing this imbalance is crucial for a stable and reliable energy system.

This highlights the pressing need for energy storage solutions, demand response programs, and further integration of renewable energy into the grid. By effectively managing the duck curve, we can accelerate our transition to a more sustainable and resilient energy future.

—————

More than 200 comments followed, most from the pro-renewables crowd arguing, in effect, “okay, this presents a challenge that the next phase of energy transformation, such as batteries and demand-reduction, must address.”

The critics of forced grid solar had comments ranging from “That is one ugly duckling,” which elicited the response: “It’s bound to be, it’s based on ‘quack’ climate science.” Then came the more serious. Dan Fowler commented in part:

The takeaway is that no new solar projects should be permitted (or are needed) without an equal amount of storage being made available.

And another:

No amount of batteries will address this problem at a fiscally sensible level. Pursuing further penetration of solar and wind, along with batteries will push California’s electricity rates ever higher to the point of impoverishing the population and driving any sensible business away.

Scott Tinker made the obvious point of more-of-the-same-is-worse:

… the logic of integrated more of the thing that is causing the duck into the system is somewhat lost on people who understand and have to manage these things. Perhaps additional dispatchable sources like natural gas and nuclear to create reliable electricity would be useful. And also have the benefit of bringing California’s highest in the nation [lower-48] electricity prices down for the consumer. Or, you could continue to follow Europe…

The obvious solution is to stop the wounding and treat the wound. No more wind and solar. And retire existing capacity to allow market signals to bring in combined power plants fueled by either natural gas or fuel oil. Coal-by-wire should also be encouraged. The electricity rate debacle can be solved and Big Brother kept out of the home.

Conclusion

The forced energy transformation crowd continues to be in denial about how badly the California grid has been compromised by wind and solar, how expensive the battery solution is, and the prospect of Big Brother in the home (setting temperatures and restricting power use at will). As Ludwig von Mises observed, the failure of government intervention leads to more and more intervention, posing a choice between free markets and Leviathan.

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AdenW
May 24, 2023 6:03 am

A simple solution. Smart meters and virtue signalling.

  1. Greens sign up to a Green register, get the badge they can display to show how good they are.
  2. Smart meters
  3. Greens have to sign up to renewables only electric supply
  4. Then when the wind doesn’t blow, the sun doesn’t shine, a message is sent to the smart meter and click, they get cut off.

Once a green, always a green, you are on for life.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  AdenW
May 24, 2023 7:00 am

Create a real market and let consumers decide. Let multiple suppliers choose their generation mix and then set their price and reliability and let consumers choose. When suppliers can’t meet their customer’s needs, smart meters will be used for “demand restrictions”, i.e. brown-black out messages to their subscribers. The market will soon set straight what consumers expect.

Bryan A
Reply to  Jim Gorman
May 24, 2023 7:26 am

More than 200 comments followed, most from the pro-renewables crowd arguing, in effect, “okay, this presents a challenge that the next phase of energy transformation, such as batteries and demand-reduction, must address.

The disparity between the “Back” and evening peak will only increase as current FF sourced heating and cooking energy is forced into Electricity and the neck will grow to a new evening peak from EV recharging when workers return home in the evening. Over the next decade, as EV sales mandates kick in, the neck will stretch out so much that the Duck will transform into a Swan

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Bryan A
May 24, 2023 9:57 am

But Swan Edison lightbulbs will be banned.

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  Jim Gorman
May 24, 2023 7:30 am

That will never happen. Conumers can’t be given choices. What if people chose the wrong thing?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Jim Gorman
May 24, 2023 7:33 am

I assume the ‘duck-ness’ of the net generation curve arises from the grid operator’s ‘must take’ obligation for all solar energy whenever it’s available.

Bifurcating the market between conventional- and renewable-only customers with the assistance of smart meters eliminates the need for conventional suppliers / grid operators to ‘chase’ the intermittency of renewable supplies while allowing renewable customers and suppliers access to the grid in order to build out an independent market for renewable energy.

Last edited 9 days ago by Frank from NoVA
It doesnot add up
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 24, 2023 9:59 am

The problem is that if the grid doesn’t take the solar surplus the energy must be dispersed somehow. People I know found out that could mean starting a fire at your house from overheated equipment. Perhaps roller blinds will be devised to ensure a balanced curtailment against own use.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 24, 2023 10:39 am
Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 24, 2023 10:35 am

Smart meter, or similar technology, would throttle the aggregate output of solar panels if renewable supply exceeded renewable demand.

An exception to this rule would be if excess renewable energy could be sold in a real time market, which would allow conventional suppliers to back off their fuel costs (*) while receiving the energy price they were awarded in the day ahead auction.

In summary, there would be two efficient energy markets that would eliminate the waste / dead weight loss of the current system of renewable subsidies.

(*) Nick Stokes frequently comments that lower fuel costs justifies the intermittency of renewable energy. Bifurcating the market between conventional and renewable energy would represent a true ‘put up or shut up’ opportunity for renewable proponents.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 24, 2023 11:48 am

Nick Stokes frequently comments that lower fuel costs justifies the intermittency of renewable energy.

That is like arguing that the number of surgeries performed by a hospital is more important than the outcome of the surgeries.

KevinM
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 24, 2023 12:18 pm

Too many misunderstandings about what meters do. If its core function is not measuring power use, then it isn’t a meter, it’s something else.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  KevinM
May 24, 2023 8:03 pm

I’m pretty well acquainted with meters, smart or otherwise, the main difference being that the former can communicate with the utility, thereby indicating current usage and status. This allows for things like time of use billing, etc. I’m also aware that there are other devices, including thermostats, that can be used by the utility to control customer loads. My intention in referring to ‘smart meters or similar technology’ above, was simply to point out that the technology already exists to bifurcate the energy market into conventional and renewable segments using the same wires.

MarkW
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 24, 2023 1:09 pm

The problem is that the lower fuel costs are no where near as big as Nick wants to believe.
Power plants just can’t ramp up and down as quickly as the duck curve requires, so they have to keep producing power that isn’t needed.
The other problem is that ignoring fuel costs, the other costs of owning and operating power plants don’t go down at all, yet you have dramatically reduced income to cover those costs.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MarkW
May 24, 2023 7:45 pm

I agree with everything you said above. In particular, I wasn’t agreeing with Nick’s specious fuel cost offsets intermittency argument, just pointing out that if there was actually were free markets in conventional and renewable energy, the latter would either need to prove itself economic without subsidies and/or preferential dispatch rules or basically disappear.

By using technology to bifurcate the market, renewable supply is limited to renewable demand in real time, so there’s no energy dumping that requires conventional generators to curtail their output, UNLESS they are voluntarily willing to purchase excess renewable energy in lieu of burning fuel to satisfy their real-time obligations.

Iain Reid
Reply to  MarkW
May 24, 2023 11:24 pm

Mark,

these plants during low output periods are still providing essential inertia and reactive power that solar doesn’t provide.

bnice2000
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 24, 2023 2:05 pm

And yet Nick would NEVER put up with that intermittency at his own place..

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  bnice2000
May 24, 2023 8:05 pm

That’s possibly true, but the only way to find out is via a true market mechanism.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 24, 2023 3:52 pm

You have to throttle the input to the solar panels to stop them producing output. Preventing export to the grid just means that the energy is kept local – hence the fire risk.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 24, 2023 8:11 pm

I’ll defer to you on this, but I think it odd that residential building codes would allow homeowners to cover their roofs with panels if they were prone to burst into flame in the event of an open circuit. Are you sure?

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 25, 2023 11:14 am

Frank, Renewable proponents don’t need “An exception to this rule would be if excess renewable energy could be sold in a real time market”. They propose using negative valued excess electricity as the input cost for hydrogen generation plants. The worse the duck curve gets the lower the cost of hydrogen. Win-Win (except for electricity rate payers),

KevinM
Reply to  Jim Gorman
May 24, 2023 12:12 pm

Jim Gorman’s message seems libertarian and market based but it’s also how the big tech companies came about. Big brother did not need to put a chip in everyone’s head, he sold us facebook and cell phones with gps. We tagged all the photos to make it easier for him.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  KevinM
May 24, 2023 7:24 pm

My comment provides for a competitive market for providing electrical service. If electric meters must be registered, so be it. We register our telephone MAC addresses and phone number. No different

c1ue
Reply to  Jim Gorman
May 24, 2023 6:12 pm

Sorry but that theory was proven wrong in Texas during Winter Storm Uri.
The customers who signed up for wholesale electricity pricing got bankrupted. This is exactly the kind of thing that happens when consumers dabble in areas which they know nothing about.
There are many areas – of which grid electricity is one – which should be treated as utilities: a basic underpinning of civilization which should be affordable and available to all.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  c1ue
May 24, 2023 7:19 pm

Not talking about wholesale purchases. A retail customer paying a monthly fee for services provided and approved by a regulatory body, is not purchasing on the wholesale spot market.

However, it does put the pressure on the the generators to provide a consistent inexpensive supply. That is what we have had and deserve going forward.

PCman999
Reply to  Jim Gorman
May 24, 2023 10:25 pm

Not in Texas – their bills weren’t regulated.

PCman999
Reply to  Jim Gorman
May 24, 2023 10:00 pm

Won’t work – electricity utility can’t be like gas stations competing on a corner. Current grids are screwed up without steady supplies and long term contracts. No one wants to provide cheap baseload power on the middle of the night, but the high value peaking power when subsidized wind/solar fails. Look at Australian coal power plants going out of business having to compete with subsidized wind and solar power during the day or windy periods, or having to rely on the leftovers.

Subscribers won’t be able to set anyone straight – the media and government will lie about the failure of ‘renewables’, and blame reliable fuels with some b.s., like what happened in Texas Feb 2021.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  PCman999
May 25, 2023 5:47 am

 electricity utility can’t be like gas stations competing on a corner.”

Why not? If a “smart” grid is what is desired, then make it smart. If demand reduction is going to be a thing, then I also demand the ability to choose a provider based on price and reliability. If a generator can not meet its subscribers’ power needs, then it must use “smart” meters to reduce the demand of its subscribers.

Keep in mind that I’m not saying this can be done on the current grid. However, there is going to be substantial changes to the grid in the future and planning for a best operating grid should be done now. The actual consumer should have a large input into how it should operate and be paid for.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Jim Gorman
May 25, 2023 1:19 pm

Jim. Who’s going to own, operate, maintain, expand and replace the grid ((grids in your case) with a multitude of generator companies, rooftop homeowners, utilities and more providing various amounts of electrons at different times with new suppliers coming in and old suppliers leaving continuously? You want the whole Country to be as screwed up as California is and getting worse? BTW before you answer remember the economic expression, “The tragedy of the commons”. When everyone owns it, no one owns it.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
May 25, 2023 1:41 pm

The grid would be regulated utility as today. The cost of the grid would be paid for by end users AND generators. The mix would be determined by the regulators.

Look this isn’t rocket science especially with today’s technology. Would some additional costs be needed? Sure, smart meters aren’t cheap. The communications protocols would need developed. It is no more complicated than moving your cell phone number between devices and providers. Heck new meters could even utilize built in cell phones for communications, just like security units.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  AdenW
May 24, 2023 7:24 am

It should be a ribbon instead of a badge, that way the ribbon bullies can make you wear it.

insufficientlysensitive
Reply to  AdenW
May 24, 2023 9:02 am
  1. Smart meters

When the City of Seattle crew came and swapped our old meter for a ‘smart’ one, they admitted when questioned that now it could be shut off by City Hall whenever the progressive geniuses down there decided to do it.

Redge
Reply to  insufficientlysensitive
May 24, 2023 10:17 am

I’ve just written to my supplier telling them in no uncertain terms that I am not having a smart meter and they are to desist from asking me.

they’ve acknowledged and said it won’t happen again.

If they do, it’s harassment.

KevinM
Reply to  AdenW
May 24, 2023 12:09 pm

Smart meters replace the meter reader with a radio. All other talk is to help us not wonder what happens to the meter reader next.

MarkW
Reply to  KevinM
May 24, 2023 1:11 pm

Perhaps we should get rid of tractors and go back to horse drawn plows. What happened to the millions of farmers put out of work by the tractor?

PCman999
Reply to  KevinM
May 24, 2023 10:38 pm

Don’t forget about the ability to charge someone higher rates during peak times – instead of the utility building baseload plants with lots of steady cheap power they build small but expensive to run peaker plants, or promote flaky wind/solar.

Retiredinky
May 24, 2023 6:32 am

Seriously, help me understand. The article says Its distinctive shape resembles a duck with its head and neck representing the daily net load, i.e., the difference between electricity demand and generation. S So at 12 am the difference between demand and generation is 20 GW. Solar generation is zero at midnight – so how is the 20 GW being met?

I appologize if I am stupid.

stevekj
Reply to  Retiredinky
May 24, 2023 6:43 am

I *think* what this curve is specifically focusing on is the “utility-scale wind and solar” part of the generation vs. demand. So, the midnight 20 GW demand is being met by non-wind-and-solar generating plants (FF, nuclear, hydro, etc.)

The duck curve represents the part of the electricity demand that cannot be met by wind and solar, no matter how much of it they build, and that’s a big problem…

karlomonte
Reply to  stevekj
May 24, 2023 7:29 am

The graph is labeled “Lowest minimum net load day”, which is hardly very clear.

KevinM
Reply to  karlomonte
May 24, 2023 12:20 pm

I agree, too much familiarity is assumed by the author. More explanation is required.

mkelly
Reply to  Retiredinky
May 24, 2023 8:01 am

I am with you. On the left side 12am is 20 GW but the right side is about 15 GW. If it is a typical day graph shouldn’t those end points be at the same GW.

Dave Fair
Reply to  mkelly
May 24, 2023 10:01 am

Possibly the result of short-term storage and, more significantly, the curtailment of demand?

heme212
Reply to  mkelly
May 24, 2023 12:35 pm

or people programming their car chargers to start at midnight?

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  mkelly
May 25, 2023 1:30 pm

mkelly. Definitely, it’s screwed up.I made the same comment earlier.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Retiredinky
May 24, 2023 9:38 am

Start with the Wikipedia page for “Duck Curve” and then read the post.
Further, what’s with the background image of Nessie? A Bufflehead would fit the California narrative better than something from 7,900 km away.

AndyHce
Reply to  Retiredinky
May 24, 2023 12:07 pm

The graph label says the curve is:
net load minus utility scale wind and solar
Is that wind and solar generated by the weather or wind and solar generation that is actually used by the grid?

This graph does not seem to give any information as to whether or not demand is being met by wind and solar. It does not show demand or supply.

It could be saying that wind and solar generation is very continuous, like any reasonable base load supply, but demand is light in the morning and evening so base load generation is already considerably over produced. Base load generation should therefore be markedly reduced to what is being used in the middle of the day. Then there would not be much excess in the morning and evening.

It could be saying that load is very steady but wind and solar generation are much higher in the morning and evening so there is a large surplus then while there is little surplus in the middle of the day because wind and solar supply less then.

I understand that isn’t what is being proclaimed but I don’t see how this graph, by itself, provides information for either side of the argument.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
May 24, 2023 1:16 pm

You are correct that load is sort of constant.
However, the graph is telling us that wind and solar are greatest during the middle of the day.

Essentially the graph is telling us how much power non-wind and solar power producers need to produce.

The author also points out that since net load is negative during the middle of the day, adding more wind and solar will only result in most of that power having to be discarded during the middle of the day. The only way to prevent this waste is for there to be some form of storage for all of that excess power generation.

I personally would appreciate another chart that shows the average load at different times during the day.

Last edited 9 days ago by MarkW
Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  MarkW
May 25, 2023 1:47 pm

MarkW Agree, except as I commented earlier, solar proponents now understand that storage for more than 4 hours is forever too expensive, so they now say, use those negative priced electrons as the input cost for hydrogen generation plants. The more surplus electrons the cheaper the hydrogen (and the more expensive the electricity for ratepayers).

heme212
May 24, 2023 6:42 am

This highlights the pressing need for energy storage solutions, demand response programs, and further integration of renewable energy into the grid. “

California can solve its chronic water shortages the same way. Only 1/8th inch copper tubing for all water laterals.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  heme212
May 24, 2023 10:09 am

They’ll be needing the 1/8th inch copper as a power feed.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  heme212
May 25, 2023 1:51 pm

herme, a /sarc may be advisable, liberal/progressives may miss the humor.

John_C
Reply to  heme212
May 26, 2023 8:47 am

Aha, a WinWin solution. The renewable energy makes hydrogen that is distributed to the subscribers to burn and make pure water and electricity and heat, thus providing power, lights, and hot water. Cool water can be had after running the hot water through a heat exchanger (heated towel racks?) and cold from an electric heat pump. Who cares if we throw away a majority of the energy in waste heat (eg conversion and transmission losses), it was all free. (ignoring costs to build, operate, maintain, and dispose)

antigtiff
May 24, 2023 7:02 am

Let Callyfornia crash and burn….as an example of what not to do…and it is all for nothing becuz CO2 is not a problem….the problem is idiots.

William Howard
Reply to  antigtiff
May 24, 2023 7:14 am

yep

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  antigtiff
May 24, 2023 7:33 am

Isolate California first so they don’t crash the grid for surrounding states. California shouldn’t import energy anyway, since it comes from the wrong sources.

AndyHce
Reply to  More Soylent Green!
May 24, 2023 12:09 pm

That is why they charge their suppliers a “carbon tax” on most of the electricity they buy from them.

SMS
May 24, 2023 7:04 am

The only fair solution is for the grid to be disassembled, and each user made responsible for their own energy needs. Soon we will see solar panels and wind turbines on each house and business. At least on those houses with the money to afford renewables. And they need to pay full cost for the solar panels and wind turbines; no subsidies. If the decision is made to pay the high cost for wind and solar because they have the money, and move forward with the project, they are responsible for the results.

After a short time, each home and business will have a gas driven generator operating. Only then will these dumb **** realize that wind and solar are not their answer. This option screws the poor; much like they are doing now.

Ann Banisher
Reply to  SMS
May 24, 2023 8:36 am

You think that is funny, but that is exactly what Ca is planning to do.
I am an energy analyst in CA and the current requirement is for all new construction to have solar and be plug and play ready for a battery system. In 3 years, for the next code cycle, they will then make the battery backup mandatory. 3 years later, they will make ‘demand response’ mandatory (meaning the grid has access to your battery)

Giving_Cat
Reply to  Ann Banisher
May 24, 2023 9:35 am

As a California resident I must state most emphatically that I have neither guns, batteries nor cistern. To own such selfish anti-collective things would be an insult to the concept of lowest common denominator socialism.

duck
Reply to  Ann Banisher
May 24, 2023 12:07 pm

Very true. Friends who were rebuilding after the Paradise fire got a huge sticker shock at the price of all these new add ons that are now required.

KevinM
Reply to  Ann Banisher
May 24, 2023 12:34 pm

If you distribute a phone ap with well designed social/sharing aspects, then the customers will log and characterize their use patterns as though employees. They might even pay Ca for the opportunity. Now with data-mining and AI…

commieBob
May 24, 2023 7:05 am

— story tip —

Per recent WUWT stories about collapsing support for the German Green Party and about vandalism by greens in Italy, it seems that the German police are starting to crack down.

A total of 15 properties in seven German states have been searched as part of the raids conducted on behalf of the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA) and the Munich General Public Prosecutor’s Office, authorities said.

Four searches took place in Berlin, three in Bavaria and three in Hesse. There were further actions in Hamburg, Magdeburg, Dresden, and Schleswig-Holstein, authorities said.

The Prosecutor General’s Office in Munich said it had initiated a preliminary investigation “due to numerous criminal complaints from the population” against a total of seven defendants aged 22 to 38 years, “on the charge of forming or supporting a criminal organization.” The notifications had been received since the middle of 2022.

link

My knowledge of German government is poor but it sounds to me like a nation-wide crack down. Anyway it’s nice to hear the climate hooligans classified as a criminal organization.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  commieBob
May 24, 2023 10:20 am

I note that AfD has now overtaken the Greens in Germany according to polls. That’s the party of the eminently sensible Christine Andersen

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2023/05/13/christine-anderson-mep-full-15-min-cities-climate-lockdowns-digital-tyranny/

Messages are slowly permeating.

usurbrain
May 24, 2023 7:07 am

“The takeaway is that no new solar projects should be permitted (or are needed) without an equal amount of storage being made available.”

And that is why they push to the point of obsession to force more EV’s on the grid and to be their “Virtual Batteries.”

The problem is, that they are not using their brain in this misguided effort. These “Virtual Batteries” will be sitting in a parking lot with a greater than 100 to 1 ratio of EV’s to Charging stations that could absorb this peak generation. Look at the parking lot/building. Multiply the number of parking spaces by $10,000 to determine how much it would cost to make it possible to collect this excess energy. What do you think would happen to your company if forced to spend that much money? The only answer is to have EV owners work at home or at night. Worse, how long will it take to build these charge/discharge facilities? The M0R0Ns designing this disaster keep using Average Annual Generation and Ignoring Peak load and Peak generation size and time of day, time of year and the inability to predict unexpected losses and the length of these unexpected events.

Paul B
May 24, 2023 7:21 am

Emotion and reason are always in conflict. Want a puppy? Your emotion falls in love with the cute little bugger, while your reason screams about the commitment and finances required to raise it. What wins out?

Unfortunately, today we have a collapsed education system concurrent with an explosion of social media. This facilitates easy emotion coupled to a lack of critical thinking. Politicians are emotive creatures. They also happen to be the least educated.

It’s no surprise then, that the duck explodes. It is happening in every complex problem we face. There is an entire flock of ducks to be had.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Paul B
May 24, 2023 10:08 am

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.”
― H. L. Mencken

MarkW
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 24, 2023 1:22 pm

And that will always be the answer the politicians will choose.

MarkW
Reply to  Paul B
May 24, 2023 1:22 pm

A duck in every pot.
You can have your duck and eat it too.

John_C
Reply to  Paul B
May 26, 2023 9:01 am

I see, the issue is clear. It’s not a duck, it’s a goose, laying golden eggs.

The “Greens” think they can extract the egg laying part from the food eating and waste excreting parts and get the golden eggs without having to care for the goose. Just because science has shown us we don’t actually have the ability to do that is no reason not to try! If I pass a law mandating zero point energy generation in 20 years I can demolish all conventional power plants today, That way once the scientific breakthroughs happen and process development is complere there won’t be any delay in starting construction.

Sean2828
May 24, 2023 7:22 am

I think California’s topography and income distribution might allow it to manage the situation much better. I agree with the Mr. Fowler’s comment about energy storage but at least part of this problem is based on the generous price (retail) given to rooftop generation when sold back to the grid. If the price paid for selling to the grid was the wholesale price, there would be tremendous incentive to hold the energy in batteries and use it internally or sell it back to the grid in the late afternoon / evening when solar generation falls off and the wholesale price rises. Wealthy residents can likely afford batteries to get a better price selling back to the grid when demand is higher. For grid scale solar, California’s water distribution system can come into play. I hear that ~14% of the power used in California is to move water throughout the state. When it is pumped over mountains, there is no reason why it cannot be held in a reservoir at high elevation during the day and when released in the evening, generate electricity as it moves into the valleys.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Sean2828
May 24, 2023 10:14 am

Try building reservoirs in CA. The proposed Eagle Crest Pumped Storage project, utilizing existing abandoned mining pits, can’t get off the ground because of corruption in CA’s State-mandated storage market.

AndyHce
Reply to  Sean2828
May 24, 2023 12:14 pm

But with mandatory smart meters and mandatory home batteries, the state doesn’t have to pay anything.

MarkW
Reply to  Sean2828
May 24, 2023 1:25 pm

Water is not pumped over mountains. They drilled tunnels through them.

In the few places where they do pump over elevation rises, they use closed pipes, this way they only need pumps in order to prime the pipes.
This way the suction of the water going down hill will suck water up hill.
If you create a holding pond out the top of the hill the energy you gain by using the falling water to run generators will be used to power the pumps needed to pump the water uphill.

On net, a loss of available energy, at great cost. A perfect solution for California.

Last edited 9 days ago by MarkW
It doesnot add up
Reply to  MarkW
May 24, 2023 3:46 pm

Siphons are quite common in water distribution.

John_C
Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 26, 2023 9:11 am

The LA aqueduct (from Owens river south to LA) uses many siphons to cross canyons as it passes along the slopes of the Sierra Nevada and Transverse Ranges. LA DWP generates net power (which is why it is the Department of Water and Power, it provides both) from every gallon moved through that system. Good idea, just already in use.

wilpost
May 24, 2023 7:42 am

The article should mention, the graph shows the total electricity loaded by power plants onto the HIGH VOLTAGE GRID

The article should show a graph of the total electricity loaded by solar systems onto DISTRIBUTION GRIDS

If the sum of the two exceeds demand, then that excess should be:

1) curtailed (requires curtailment payments to owners),
2) exported (at low wholesale prices, because of surplus), 
3) stored (at a throughput cost of at least 20c/kWh, if stored in batteries),

if the output of domestic traditional power plants and imports from out of state (steady hydro, etc.) cannot be further reduced, to ensure grid stability

We are talking at least TEN THOUSAND MWh of midday solar electricity to be stored in 4 hours.

The graph is misleading, because the note at the bottom states, the outputs of utility wind and solar systems, connected to the HV grid, are not included.

If they were, the solar dip would be much less.

ISO-NE makes an estimate of solar output loaded onto distribution grids, for day-ahead planning the scheduling and outputs of power plants loading onto the HV grid.

In 2022, California generated 62,414 GWh of solar electricity

Utility-scale PV; 37,237 GWh (59.7%), connected to HV grid
Utility-scale thermal; 2,083 GWh (3.3%), connected to HV grid
Distributed (mostly rooftop) PV; 23,094 GWh (37%), connected to distribution grids

Turnkey cost of battery system = 10,000 MWh x 1,000 kWh/MWh x $600/kWh x 0.6, capacity factor = $10 billion.

None of that cost would be charged to the disturbers, i.e., the Owners of solar systems

All would be charged to ratepayers, taxpayers and added to federal and state government debts.

Fed to the battery would be 10,000 MWh from HV grid, but only about 80% of that would be fed into the HV grid, due to A-to-Z round-trip losses. 

BATTERY SYSTEM CAPITAL COSTS, OPERATING COSTS, ENERGY LOSSES, AND AGING
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/battery-system-capital

Thomas
Reply to  wilpost
May 24, 2023 10:22 am

According to the article, the chart shows, “the difference between electricity demand and generation.” This is incorrect. The chart shows the difference between utility-scale wind and solar and total demand. When the curve is low on the chart (the belly of the duck), wind and solar are supplying a lot of electricity. When the curve is high, most of the electricity is being supplied by fossil fuel power plants and some nuclear.

One can see the real-time net demand here.

https://www.caiso.com/TodaysOutlook/Pages/default.aspx#section-net-demand-trend

The chart can be set to show earlier dates as well.

A Tesla powerwall battery can power a typical home for about 12 hours. That’s probably more than enough to get a home through the night, when AC and lighting loads are low. If every home had one, and if solar and wind generation were increased to charge them during the day, fossil and nuclear would be needed only during long periods of low sun and wind. But we would still need to maintain the non-renewable fleet to have it on standby, which is expensive. The state would have to pay people to maintain and build fossil plants that would only be used occasionally.

The Powerwall battery costs about $15,000. If it lasts ten years, that’s $150 per year per household, which is not very expensive, but wind and solar generation would need to be doubled, so power would probably cost around fifty cents a kWh and the average household might pay around $500 per month. If we also switch to electric stoves and heating, that might bring electricity cost up to $750 to $1000 per month per household.

Poor and middle class folks can’t afford that, so politicians would increase the rate to upper class folks to pay for most of it. That might mean that people like me would pay many thousands of dollars per month for electricity, so we would leave the state, which would drive up the cost of less fortunate folks, so they would also leave the state.

This is nothing new. It’s already happening. It’s astonishing because it must take a lot of economic abuse to cause people to leave a place that is as nice as California.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Thomas
May 24, 2023 10:48 am

If the Powerwall costs $15,000 and lasts 10 years, the annual cost to the family is $1,500, NOT $150. That is a monthly cost of about $125. Thanks, you’ve now doubled my electric bill, and we haven’t even started talking about converting to electric hot water, electric clothes drying, electric heat, and electric range/oven.

MarkW
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 24, 2023 1:33 pm

Nor has he accounted for the degradation of those batteries over time. Especially when you have to go from fully charged to fully discharged every day.

By the time you are replacing that power wall in 10 years, the total amount it can store has dropped dramatically.

As to the $1,500 dollar a year cost, how much has your homeowner’s insurance gone up because of all those batteries?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Thomas
May 24, 2023 11:59 am

It was formerly nice. However, it has changed a lot. That is why I didn’t move back when I retired.

wilpost
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 24, 2023 1:56 pm

My wife’s cousin, a great-grandmother, and 18 of her 20 family members moved, en masse, from California to Idaho.

My wife talked to her, and she said I cannot understand why we did not make that move 10 years earlier. It is like night and day

Last edited 9 days ago by wilpost
AndyHce
Reply to  Thomas
May 24, 2023 12:34 pm

The Powerwall battery costs about $15,000

Plus how many times that in interest payments?
How much more in insurance payments?

wilpost
Reply to  AndyHce
May 24, 2023 2:02 pm

At 6%/y for 15 years compounded, adds about 30% to the cost, so $15000 becomes $19500.

You have to ship the unit back to Tesla for reprocessing, etc., , which will cost money for uninstalling, packing, shipping, etc., at the end of 15 years

usurbrain
Reply to  Thomas
May 24, 2023 1:18 pm

Anyone that believes that CA [and other states] will not MANDATE either a Powerwall (or similar) or an EV and then suck out their energy when the State/County/City needs it in addition to Mandated Utility control of YOUR electricity [What Utilities call a Smart Grid] is as Nieve as a newborn babe.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  wilpost
May 24, 2023 10:25 am

I don’t know how long 80% would hold up. It looks like 3 years at best at the Hornsdale Power Reserve.

comment image

wilpost
Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 24, 2023 2:09 pm

The 80% refers to electricity losses, on an A-to-Z basis, from HV grid to HV grid. See URL in referenced article

Tesla recommends batteries not be discharged to less than 20% full and not be charged to more than 80% full, to ensure an up to 15 year life for STATIONARY, AIR-CONDITIONED SYSTEMS

For MOVING SYSTEMS, as in EVs in traffic and on rough roads, etc., conditions are much harsher, and life is about 8 years, but the same charge/discharge limits apply, I.e., no heroic range driving!!

Last edited 9 days ago by wilpost
It doesnot add up
Reply to  wilpost
May 24, 2023 3:42 pm

I’m quoting the real performance of Musk’s grid batteries in South Australia, as measured by NEM for grid input and output. My suspicion is that they have been tempted by extraordinarily high returns into damaging the batteries occasionally by using the maximum capacity fully. It’s clear that the inital battery performance degraded after 3 years. The upgrade to higher capacity plus possibly the odd replacement (operational Sep 2020) improved matters somewhat, and indeed the new batteries appear to have been initially superior to the originals. But more recent performance has shown a marked decline as the yellow line shows.

wilpost
Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 24, 2023 4:04 pm

You mention range performance decreasing, due to occasional extreme charging/discharging, which is also true when high-speed charging an EV

My 80% relates to throughput, for example 10,000 MWh from HV grid through battery system to HV grid about 8000 MWh, for about a 20% loss

It doesnot add up
Reply to  wilpost
May 24, 2023 6:11 pm

The chart shows the monthly throughput for the HPR, separated into charge and discharge. hence the round trip efficiency. What is interesting is that the throughputs seem to drop as the batteries age. That suggests that battery management may sacrifice some units but keep others in reserve as a basic tactic. But eventually the whole park degrades and must be replaced as reduced round trip efficiency eats into margins and profitable opportunities.

Douglas Pollock
May 24, 2023 8:06 am

The problem is not the duck, but the shark behind the duck and that is not cute at all.
 
1. With the solar installed capacity alone (not considering wind installed capacity), California is already exceeding its hourly demand, the limit above which the electricity generated is lost… but paid for by consumers.

2. While the duck swims, at every single moment there must be somewhere else in the grid a thermal generation source (gas-fired power plant) waiting there to ramp up from rotating reserve up to its full load capacity when the sun decides to go away or a cloud decides to come in, forcing this source to operate up and down inefficiently. This is the backup generation, highly and increasingly expensive electricity as the renewable penetration expands, for which, in addition, consumers also pay for and which wouldn’t exist in the absence of these dead weight unreliables and its duck.

3. On top of having to pay for inefficient thermal generations, consumer also have to pay for the cuddly ‘capacity payments’, a fair payments meant to have available security margins of thermal generation but not meant to backup nonsenses.

I hope that, sooner than later, California will replace the very expensive duck (wind and solar generation) by cheap chicken (gas and coal), before the duck eats California.

Last edited 9 days ago by Douglas Pollock
usurbrain
Reply to  Douglas Pollock
May 24, 2023 1:26 pm

I have not heard one word about FERC eliminating the requirement of sufficient SPINNING reserves to meet the 10% buffer above historical Peak load for that date/hour. That means you are paying for a Cadillac [the unused CCTG or coal station or even a contract with another utility], sitting in the garage and riding a bike wherever you go.
And the Powerwall, EV Battery, etc, you bought will be discharged when you need it to drive to work, run your Wi-Fi, TV, AC, FREEZER, HEATER, etc., etc.

Last edited 9 days ago by usurbrain
Douglas Pollock
May 24, 2023 8:11 am

The problem is not the duck, but the shark behind the duck and that is not cute at all.

1.      With the solar installed capacity alone (not considering wind installed capacity), California is already exceeding its hourly demand, the limit above which the electricity generated is lost… but paid for by consumers.

2.      While the duck swims, at every single moment there must be somewhere else in the grid a thermal generation source (gas-fired power plant) waiting there to ramp up from rotating reserve up to its full load capacity when the sun decides to go away or a cloud decides to come in, forcing this source to operate up and down inefficiently. This is the backup generation, highly and increasingly expensive electricity as the renewable penetration expands, for which, in addition, consumers also pay for and which wouldn’t exist in the absence of these dead weight unreliables and its duck.

3.      As renewable installed capacity expands, California, instead of increasing its backup capacity, has proceeded to dismantle that generation source replacing it (instead of expanding) by that deadweight. Blackouts are just around the corner.

4.      On top of having to pay for inefficient thermal generations, consumers also have to pay for the cuddly ‘capacity payments’, a fair payments meant to have available security margins of thermal generation but not meant to backup nonsenses.

I hope that, sooner than later, California will replace their very expensive duck (wind and solar generation) by cheap chicken (gas and coal), before the duck and the shark eats California. 

Last edited 9 days ago by Douglas Pollock
roger
May 24, 2023 8:12 am

“ The forced energy transformation crowd continues to be in denial”

No – actually they aren’t. They KNOW that their proposals won’t work. That’s why proving them wrong makes no impression. What good does it do to prove what they already know.

Electric supply and demand are always equal (laws of physics). Up to now, we have always throttled (dispatched) supply to match demand. But solar/ wind are non- dispatchable. The only way this can work is to throttle demand to match supply.

But adjusting supply has always been unacceptable. People (rate payers – voters) don’t want to turn off their heat on cold nights and turn off their AC on hot days.

So the “forced energy transformation crowd” lies. They pretend to believe. When the grid fails they will then discover that we have no choice but to reduce our demand. They will invent new terms like “Virtual Power Plant”.

Dave Fair
Reply to  roger
May 24, 2023 10:20 am

The age-old socialist governmental solution to all problems: Ration shortages. The free-market solution: Provide what people want.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  roger
May 24, 2023 3:34 pm

The standing technique is to invest in surplus capacity so that large chunks of its output are in fact curtailed. Of course, the investment required to engineer such surpluses is pro-rata larger, and has to be paid for via higher prices. Also, you don’t get rid of the Dunkelflaute problem, so you still have to invest in close to 100% backup as well – and that becomes very expensive to run on an intermittent basis. Curtailment start becoming a noticeable factor at about 60% of average demand being met by renewables typically, although local demand and renewables generation patterns will vary that by a few percent.

roger
May 24, 2023 8:15 am

Correction: adjusting demand has never been acceptable.

Dave Fair
Reply to  roger
May 24, 2023 10:22 am

But all of the Leftist electric integrated resource plans rely on demand side management. Regular people are in for a big shock when the chickens come home to roost.

John_C
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 26, 2023 9:24 am

Or when the chicken at home can’t roast.

So sorry, your electric oven is off until 9PM. Better not open the fridge, it’s off too. And be careful as you move around in the dark. By the way, your portable generator is illegal. And don’t worry about your alarm, your car battery will be drained by morning anyway.

David Dibbell
May 24, 2023 8:23 am

Imagine a system where ALL primary generation is intermittent wind or solar. Then in concept, approximately, this curve must sag way below the x-axis, to even out the area above and below using *storage* (right – at what expense?) But then you also have to provide an adequate margin, and then factor in the round-trip efficiency of any storage system. It is completely nuts to keep on pushing for such a result. You end up having to run the system to keep the storage charged as the first priority, rather than meeting demand.

And how much curtailment would there be in an “optimal” system? The recent Tesla report says 32% on page 15.
https://www.tesla.com/ns_videos/Tesla-Master-Plan-Part-3.pdf

Last edited 9 days ago by David Dibbell
insufficientlysensitive
May 24, 2023 9:00 am

By effectively managing the duck curve

That’s bureaucrat-speak for mindlessly evading the problem, as is currently occurring – allowing the misplaced subsidies to continue flowing to the political insiders, and doing nothing for the peons who must pay constantly-rising electric bills.

doonman
Reply to  insufficientlysensitive
May 24, 2023 11:20 am

And of course, you cannot possibly effectively manage the duck curve without first having lunch.

John_C
Reply to  doonman
May 26, 2023 9:27 am

Perhaps Duck l’OrangeManBad.

More Soylent Green!
May 24, 2023 9:19 am

Energy storage solutions? Natural gas, coal and uranium are all wonderful sources of concentrated, stored energy.

ResourceGuy
May 24, 2023 9:21 am

The California leaders are too busy speculating on Tesla stock to listen. Creating more demand for Tesla battery packs helps the (insider) cause.

ResourceGuy
May 24, 2023 9:24 am

California could save a lot of electricity if it helped move the petroleum refineries to a neighboring state. Those refineries use a lot of power.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 24, 2023 10:38 am

Most refineries generate a fair chunk of what they use themselves, especially with steam methane reforming being so important for desulphurisation. I’d have thought especially in California, where relying on the grid for maintaining continuous operations might be a bit of a gamble. Besides, it’s likely to be a lot cheaper.

AndyHce
Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 24, 2023 12:39 pm

And the public employee pension plans.

ResourceGuy
May 24, 2023 9:28 am

This is where Excuse GPT comes in to generate AI excuse lists when the blackouts occur. The media will lap it up.

Dave Fair
Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 24, 2023 10:24 am

Excuse GPT. Thanks ResourceGuy.

Dave Fair
May 24, 2023 9:57 am

Is the obvious dipping of the dinosaur’s head the result of a combination of short-term storage and demand suppression?

heme212
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 24, 2023 10:30 am

It’s a pure guess but It is likely that peoples’ power demand drops off after dinner with a steady decline and lessening A/C demands after sunset. Another guess is that people who want to charge their EVs set start times for midnight, which would explain why the graph lines don’t start and end at the same point.

Last edited 9 days ago by heme212
It doesnot add up
Reply to  heme212
May 24, 2023 3:29 pm

These lines are for individual days. There is no reason for the demand at the start of one day to be exactly the same at the end of it. Depends on what’s on late TV, whether it’s a Monday (so people head ot bed early on Sunday), etc.

John_C
Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 26, 2023 9:32 am

True, however, there are indeed a lot of loads that start exactly at midnight. I use battery powered tools for my landscaping, and my battery charger(s) are on a timer set for midnight (cheapest power is midnight to six am.

nyeevknoit
May 24, 2023 10:21 am

So just curious…
How much did the world temperature come down for all of California’s solar/wind/mandates/rolling blackouts, etc?
What is the cost to California taxpayers and electric service customers …for the duck’s belly?
Saved the world as promised?
Lowest price as promised?
Answers: None. Massive. No. No.

doonman
Reply to  nyeevknoit
May 24, 2023 11:24 am

I ask this question everytime some politician says we must do more to fight “climate change”. Not one has given me an answer or attempted to give me an answer.

leowaj
Reply to  nyeevknoit
May 25, 2023 4:29 pm

Those questions get lost over time because they are less important than the The Current Thing. For example, your first question– California does not care about reducing temperatures as much as it cares about forcing renewables on its citizens. And eventually, something will become more important than forcing renewables. Probably demand management.

Peta of Newark
May 24, 2023 10:28 am

So basically, the installation of large numbers of domestic solar systems was a hasty ill-conceived thing executed from inside the throes of blind panic.
IOW We need energy energy energy. The sun makes energy, Electricity is energy, Fix up solar panels. Yesterday.

And in that panic didn’t think of applying any sort of control over the things. It simply never dawned that by having a lot of them they’d make Too Much Electricity

Apart from now, as see we here, using smart meters to disconnect them if/when they threaten to overpower the grid
But that disconnects the consumer also.
What a fuggin mess.

The Fix, instead of having a smart on/off device, subtle or what, would be to endow the inverters of the domestic systems with some smartness.
Especially, a way of getting them to throttle back how much they export onto the grid.

Two ways that could be done:
First and the tech is fairly cheap and easily applied, would be to use the diverter devices some Home Solar users to actually prevent themselves from exporting.
Those devices look at home consumption vs solar creation and if creation is greater than consumption, they dump the excess into (usually) a hot water immersion heater.

Those could easily be adapted so as to ‘dump to the grid’ instead the immersion in response to an external signal.
That way, the home user gets as much free solar power as he wants/needs and no smart-meter induced blackouts

Second way, is is to insist that all domestic grid-tied inverters are able to throttle themselves back, in response to an external signal

Oh you say, what is this ‘external signal’
It is actually nothing that isn’t already there and is what the big utilities use to control grid stability – the Grid Frequency itself
It does mean that the domestic inverters need an very accurate clock installed in them or, there are plenty clocks out there they could already use. You might even have one in the clock on your kitchen wall. here’s one at a UK shop

The inverters would constantly compare grid frequency to The Clock and if grid was rising, they’d ramp down their output.
Likewise, if grid was falling or running lower than specification, they could, if they had any, reserve,ramp up their output.

But grid tie solar inverters have one he11 of a life – if they live
beyond 7 years old they’re doing well so simply make it The Law that all new inverters comply as I suggest. Then the job will sort it self out over the next few years and the duck will become a minor minor pot-hole and not a humongous crater it is now.

Meanwhile,The Big Grid Boys could watch and use the same clock to keep it all under control – just like they always did

So very simple, so inexpensive, so effective and sooooo= “Should have been done from the outset

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 24, 2023 3:25 pm

What happens to the dumped energy? You need to curtail the solar input with blinds or changing panel angles, else you will have a fire burning your house down. Panels would need to be designed like Venetian blinds. Might not do so well in a storm.

John_C
Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 26, 2023 9:40 am

In his example, excess power is dumped into the hot water tank (so your 165F hot water is raised to 195F). Or you can run a decorative fountain, turn on lights, chill your house to 55F at 2PM, heat the outdoors, etc. There are plenty of ways to waste power, if you are prepared to do so.

Wharfplank
May 24, 2023 11:04 am

It’s California folks and we all know where this is headed. Once California has total control via onerous regulations or plain old ownership of the grid, DEI will rule the rate you pay for electricity. Ca could solve this with a half dozen state of the art nuclear plants.

Clyde Spencer
May 24, 2023 11:43 am

That featherless ‘duck’ in the background of the graph looks like an extinct Plesiosaur to me. Maybe California should replace the grizzly bear on the state flag with this Loch Ness-like monster. It is more representative of the government of the state.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 24, 2023 6:06 pm

I think they need duck billed platitudes…

John_C
Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 26, 2023 9:42 am

We’ve had those for years. And those platitudes are still ducking the bills that have already come due.

sciguy54
May 24, 2023 12:01 pm

When net demand regularly reaches zero at the belly (they are there) then nuclear power is dead in California.

KevinM
May 24, 2023 12:07 pm

Why a chart background photo of a dinosaur instead of s duck?

joel
May 24, 2023 12:26 pm

I think there is a lot of confusion expressed in the comments.
In the past, the duck curve was a problem for the late pm early evening grid demand, with demand going up but solar going down. As can be seen in this graph, this problem is easing. The new problem is the surplus of solar power at noon. Since current storage solutions are very expensive perhaps CA can export that excess energy. That of course would make fossil fuel power plants in surrounding states even more difficult to maintain, thus making the grid even more liable to blackouts.
This situation simply shows that the push to green energy is premature and very poorly thought out.

MarkW
Reply to  joel
May 24, 2023 1:42 pm

Its easing? Not according to the graph.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  joel
May 24, 2023 3:21 pm

The solution becomes curtailment. The question is who gets to curtail, and with what compensation (if any), and do those who continue to produce see an adequate return on anything they sell. See my post below.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  joel
May 24, 2023 4:00 pm

Can’t share it to the west. That gives California less flexibility than Texas.

Dave Fair
Reply to  joel
May 24, 2023 9:50 pm

The late PM reduction in the duck bill over time is possibly due to demand restrictions and (minor) short-term storage usage. If the central controllers can cut off individual A/C units in the very hot early evening then your quality of life goes to hell [pun intended].

joel
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 25, 2023 5:21 pm

Fooling around with the data from CAISO, and using only 8:00pm data, which is the max net power load, it looks like the demand in net load reduction is mainly due to wind power, on an annual average basis. The data from CAISO showing net load only seems to count wind and solar in load reduction. So, I suspect that battery discharge is trivial at this point.

CAISO 8 PM.png
Gilbert K. Arnold
May 24, 2023 2:46 pm

“ID-ten T’s”… California’s biggest problem… Get rid of them

Last edited 9 days ago by Gilbert K. Arnold
It doesnot add up
May 24, 2023 3:16 pm

For comparison here’s the picture for generation on an average summer day in South Australia – 5th Jan 2023. The total generation potential is given by the area of the solid bars, and includes the blue amount of curtailment at the top of the heap. That curtailment was applied to wind and utility solar, which is fairly evident from the data of what they did produce. Some of the surplus was exported (shown negative below the line, and also as difference between local demand on the grid and total generation from the grid. A large chunk of demand was met by rooftop solar. The red line running through it shows taht if the commercial generators were not curtailed, about half the rooftop solar would have had to be curtailed. The orange line above it removes the export volume to give total local demand met by grid and rooftop. The very puny contribution of the batteries to solving the problems is also evident: more detailed examination shows they were really mainly being used for grid stabilisation rather than serious storage.

With grid prices running negative for so much of the day it is hardly an incentive to invest in more renewables capacity. Backup generation from gas and diesel barely figures on this day, so must aim for high profits when it is run to cover its fixed costs. The crunch for rooftop solar will eventually be painful as the cost of the subsidies and all the necessary grid curtailment and extra transmission capacity and interconnector links it causes becomes unsustainable.

Click on the image for an enlarged version.

SA Gen 5 Jan 23.png
JohninRedding
May 24, 2023 7:43 pm

Is anybody talking about the days when the sun don’t shine much or at all? That curve will look a whole lot different and it won’t be pretty.

observa
Reply to  JohninRedding
May 24, 2023 9:01 pm

Well in Mediterranean climate Adelaide South Australia winter is upon us with overcast drizzle while snow and ice are predicted for the SE States over the coming week. Now I have 6.64kW of nameplate solar panels that can nudge over 6kW output on fine sunny days at the optimum temp around 25C. However I noticed this morning at 10.30 am the inverter was pumping out a massive 110W and I wouldn’t be alone across Adelaide with rooftop solar.

RC inverter aircon running full time and we’re all electric but I do wonder how the poor folk are getting on as we’re still living off a very healthy spring and summer solar FIT credit. This planet saving is a tough gig but somebody has to do it eh lefties?

It doesnot add up
Reply to  JohninRedding
May 25, 2023 9:51 am

Here’s the flip side of the coin: almost nothing from wind, not a lot from solar, and dependence on gas and coal (via interconnector imports) and diesel ot keep the lights on. Exactly the same colour key. There is of course no curtailment and essentially no exports. The need to ramp the gas up in the morning so that Victoria can meet its own demand is marked.

SA Gen 4 May 23.png
observa
May 24, 2023 8:49 pm
Mark Luhman
May 24, 2023 9:22 pm

“This highlights the pressing need for energy storage solutions, demand response programs, and further integration of renewable energy into the grid. By effectively managing the duck curve, we can accelerate our transition to a more sustainable and resilient energy future.” Talk about some who spent far to much time in LaLa land. As Ron White puts it “you can’t fix stupid”

PCman999
May 24, 2023 9:23 pm

“and further integration of renewable energy into the grid.”

Like pumping more bullets into a body will cure the murder victim.

observa
May 25, 2023 8:48 am

We’ve been installing renewables at 4 times the rate per capita of you lot so aren’t you envious?
Energy regulator has ‘warned of lack of power’ in NSW (msn.com)
Are you lot cool enough yet and can we stop now?

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
May 25, 2023 10:50 am

There’s a problem with the ugly duckling. It has two different values for 12 AM (16&20).

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
May 25, 2023 8:45 pm

oops, wrong look, my mistake demand could change that much in 24 hours.

garboard
May 25, 2023 3:57 pm

1/3 of bermudas system of electric buses were inoperable yesterday due to rain .

observa
Reply to  garboard
May 25, 2023 9:12 pm

The climate changers will no doubt be thrilled to hear that-
Bermuda Electric Light Company – Wikipedia

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