Just One Number Keeps the Lights On

Posted: March 28, 2021 by oldbrew in Critique, Energy
Tags: ,

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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.

Science Matters

windmill20scam

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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Comments
  1. stpaulchuck says:

    we’ve noted this since the beginning of this insane solar/windmill craze. They are nothing but subsidy farms filling the pockets of the ‘friends of government’ with tax and subscriber dollars.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Guaranteed output of wind+solar at any given moment is zero.

  3. Joe Public says:

    OB – “Guaranteed output of wind+solar at any given moment is zero.”

    We know that, but for 2020/21 NatGrid-ESO chooses to assume the Equivalent Firm capacity of wind is 16% of installed capacity.

    From ‘2020/21 Winter Outlook Report’ – table at bottom right corner of page 11:

    https://www.nationalgrideso.com/document/178126/download

  4. oldbrew says:

    If your wind turbine isn’t turning, the ‘Equivalent Firm capacity’ of all the others isn’t going to help you 🤔

  5. Phoenix44 says:

    So we move everything to electricity. We then try and generate that electricity using renewables. But renewables are unreliable so we use fossil fuel generation when they cannot supply electricity.

    At what capacity therefore do the renewables have to run for there to be a net saving in CO2? Clearly if we end up burning gas to produce electricity to use for cooking instead of directly burning gas that’s going to emit more CO2. Maybe the same for EVs? So at what point of renewable actual dispatched capacity does this whole farce become higher CO2 emitting?

  6. Gamecock says:

    ‘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.’

    I worked in industrial power cost management for many years. I could write thousands of words about ‘demand management,’ but it distills to this:

    1. It represents a huge saving opportunity,
    2. People choose convenience over saving.

    People really, really don’t want to be demand managed. They want to dry their clothes when they want to. Electric power has been ubiquitous for a hundred years. They aren’t interested in it not being available. “Are you stupid?”

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