NewEnergyNews: Nobody Said The Energy Transition Would Be Easy

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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    Wednesday, August 26, 2020

    Nobody Said The Energy Transition Would Be Easy

    Transitioning to Renewable Energy Isn’t So Simple. Just Look at California; “We thought there would be adequate power to supply the demand…We were wrong.”

    Alex Trembath, Zeke Hausfather, August 23, 2020 (Slate via Mother Jones)

    The recent “heat storm” in California has pushed grid operators to impose one-to-two hour] rolling blackouts for the first time since 2001. A combination of heavy air conditioning usage, the unplanned unavailability of some power plants, limited options for importing power from neighboring states, and insufficient solar and wind generation have led to an imbalance of electricity generation and consumption…[W]ith non-hydroelectric renewable technologies, mostly solar and wind, generating about 30 percent of California’s electricity today, we are witnessing the types of obstacles and problems that these new technologies introduce…

    …[Solar power] disappears when the sun goes down but the temperature doesn’t…[Lithium-ion battery systems typically last long] enough to accommodate much of the daily swings in solar generation, but not the type of extreme surges in demand we’ve seen this week…[Longer duration storage technologies] are largely nonexistent…[The result this week in California] was predictable to anyone who hasn’t been heralding a seamless transition to renewable energy technologies…[When solar generation drops sharply as the sun goes down, it] puts stress on the rest of the electricity grid and increases the risk that disruptions in either in-state power generation or imports could lead to shortfalls…[T]his month’s challenges surface the complexities and difficulties of energy transitions, and the imperative of maintaining a flexible and diverse supply of energy technologies…” click here for more

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