Quacking the Code. Solar Energy’s Biggest Challenge Looks like a Duck

May 9, 2018

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12 Responses to “Quacking the Code. Solar Energy’s Biggest Challenge Looks like a Duck”

  1. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    If the duck curve is really that bad why is my daytime power dearer than night time power?


  2. Toshiba and Elon Musk are very happy

    • Canman Says:

      I’d suggest looking at what Michael Shellenberger (California gubernatorial candidate) has to say about it:

  3. jfon Says:

    The mismatch between the daily demand profile for electricity, and the daily production profile for solar photovoltaics, is way bigger than any available and affordable storage could fix, but it’s trivial compared to the seasonal mismatch. In most of the United States, electricity demand peaks in summer, for air conditioning, so solar proponents claim solar power is a good fit. It isn’t – too much of the demand is in the evening, when PV output is dropping. So suppose you replace all the current fixed, roof-mounted solar panels with two-axis tracking panels, and all the air conditioning with ice-making units that can store the ‘ cold’ and use it later. That should only cost a few score thousand per house. The next problem is that energy demand, as opposed to electricity demand, is much higher in winter nearly everywhere, even in the US, it’s just that heating is mostly from gas. If you want a greenhouse-free heating source, solar is clearly inadequate, even in California. In places like northern Europe, which can average only one or two hours sunlight a day in the middle of winter, and sometimes have widespread fog for a week, solar ought to be a joke, but the Germans don’t seem to get it.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      Maybe they should develop some weird kind of RE that uses the power of wind to complement the solar?

      Or, maybe they should develop a system where solar fields, even though they are hundreds or thousands of miles apart, could somehow share electricity through an interconnected system of wires> Maybe in a pattern that looks like a grid?

      Just some blue sky ideas… don’t know if they are even possible.

  4. Todd Flach Says:

    Great ideas, Gingerbaker! I would add the hightech concept of using excess PV output in the middle oc the day to produce ice, which would then be used after 6 PM to precool air to the AC. Surely noone has thought if this yet either!

  5. pendantry Says:

    I don’t see what the problem is. Use that excess power during the day to pump water up hills to a tarn, and then release it later to generate hydro power. All you need is some land — and if you don’t have hills, use that excess power to build some…

    • John Kane Says:

      This reminds me of some of the early steam engines. Reportly, they were used to pump water from the lower mill pond to the upper mill pond.


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