How does this work then?

From the usual numpties telling us that renewables don\’t cause a problem for grids.

\”could meet or exceed demand in 99.4 percent of hours, with load being met without imports from other regions and without turning to reserve storage. In addition, surplus power would be available to export in 8.6 percent of all hours, providing an ample safety net where needed from one region of the U.S. to the next.\”

Via email.

Err, so if other regions only need outside the region power 0.6% of the time then where and how are they going to dump the excess power which is available 8.6% of the time?

Haven\’t we just said that a renewables heavy system will need to dump near 10% of all the energy it generates?

21 thoughts on “How does this work then?”

  1. The electric car fleet combined with smart meters. Why do you think the governments are subsidising electric cars? They are intended to provide the flexibity for the grid as they can be set to charge only from any excess.

  2. To be honest, I’d read that as there being a surplus that can go to other areas, if required, not a necessity to dump excess power.

    There’s a problem with the electric car fleet thing that I’ve never seen discussed.
    The batteries have a life limited by the number of charge/recharge cycles they can do & a set of batteries is a very large proportion of the cost of the vehicle. One would imagine a happy, environmentally sensitive owner would be a lot less happy & environmentally sensitive to find most of the charge/recharge cycles had gone to balance the power grid & he was looking at a 20,000 dollar replacement bill.

  3. The potential of 10% waste is much lower than other estimates I’ve read. Certainly the large amount of variability in renewables will mean that X MW of capacity will in practice be X * y MW of capacity. Where y has a very wide range of estimates depending on who you believe.

  4. The problem is that of matching supply and demand. If you have a power staion with on off switches and the means to vary the supply easily at times which experience has shown are higher demand times – like breakfast time etc – then controllin g the grid is pretty easy.
    If you reply on something unpredictable – like the wind – then balancing the grid is extremely difficult. That is why the Germans hae been having so much trouble.
    There was something in one of the journals which suggested that if everyone is recharging their electric cars and there is insufficioent overnight wind then the cars will not be charged and noone can get to work in the morning.

  5. @Woodsy42

    Have you seen the arithmetic for
    power station

    And when it’s cold …. ?

    It adds up to squat and is yet another looney – not joined up scheme.

  6. If a large number of people begin charging their laughable electric deathtraps overnight via “smartmeters,” that electricity is–by definition–no longer “excess,” but rather normal demand. TANSTAAFL, even if progtards and other various leftist scumbags desire otherwise.

  7. The Tesla (which is an *amazing* bit of engineering, to be fair) burns 5% of a full charge every 24 hours, even if completely turned off. The Tesla owners I know both take advantage of free charging at their workplaces – without that, it wouldn’t really be economically sensible for them.

  8. The 0.6% of hours in which imports are demanded will not necessarily be the same in each region. Wind output in the UK and Denmark has practically zero correlation, for example. There will of course be excess generation, but we can either pay people not to generate (which we’ve already done for decades for fossil plant) or let some clever bugger come up with something to do with that excess of energy. It’s not beyond the imagination that there’s a use for electricity that you’re paid to take away.

  9. Hopper, when you refer to free charging at their workplaces, is this a perk knowingly provided by the companies? Surely such a benefit should be taxable as it amounts to free fuel.

  10. Erm. Heavy industrial users already have smart meters and already base production volumes on power prices. That’s where your 10% goes.

  11. DocBud: in the US, you’re allowed $240/month of untaxed parking, which EV charging schemes fall under, and workplace charging is very unlikely to exceed this. Less clear how it works elsewhere, which is presumably [why/because] the US is far more developed than other EV markets.

  12. The only owner of a Tesla I’m aware of lives near a small town in the Spanish Alpujarras, the only access to which is via 3 narrow roads, each comprising 25km of hairpin bends negotiable at an average speed not exceeding 20mph. The single city within charge range, it’s possible to make a return trip to, is Granada.
    An outstandingly useful purchase.

  13. @ Adam Bell
    ” Wind output in the UK and Denmark has practically zero correlation, for example”
    Pull the other it’s got bells on!
    Our nice new web-based weather forecasts show us maps of high/low pressure systems covering the whole of north-west Eaurope including Scandinavia because that affects our weather including, especially, wind or lack thereof.

  14. “The Tesla owners I know both take advantage of free charging at their workplaces”


    Can I ask my boss to give me some free petrol?

    No, of course I can’t (well I could ask).

    And neither will there be “free” charging as soon as more than two people want it.

    Why can these loons not see this?

  15. @john77

    Run the numbers yourself, if you want proof. They’re available on the BM Reports (UK) and Nordpool (DK) websites. Although you could just use common sense and realise that wind speeds are a measurement of the velocity of air particles, and for both countries to experience the same wind speed at the same time would require air particles travelling at speeds of about 600 miles per second.

  16. Surreptitious Evil

    #17. Nah.

    Not even if you factor in that the earth is an oblate spheroid (but then the wind velocities actually correlate to the local gravitational reference frame.)

    That I happen to be walking in a northerly direction at 5mph does not mean that bis cannot also be walking in a northerly direction at 5mph without us both exceeding the speed of doubt.

  17. You can read the report here. (The percentages in the press release don’t appear in the report, but they’re calculated from the data in Table 1.)

    I suppose that this all works better in the US than in the UK because PV output tends to be high when demand for air conditioning is high.

  18. BIS>

    “3 narrow roads, each comprising 25km of hairpin bends negotiable at an average speed not exceeding 20mph.”

    Sounds like the perfect place for a Tesla. They’re supposedly particularly good in lower-speed twisties. Since the thing’s just a toy, the range to the nearest useful place to go isn’t important.

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