Category Archives: Electric Grid

Short-circuiting a solar boom in Japan

Spain is still feeling the painful effects of the costs of overbuilt solar PV, and now Japan is finding itself in the same position.  This article does a lousy job of explaining that the grid must be in exact supply … Continue reading

Posted in Distributed Generation, Grid instability, Photovoltaic Solar, Renewable Integration | Leave a comment

Wind turbines hit limits to growth before 50% wind power penetration

Material requirements of 50% wind power in the USA hit limits to growth Wind turbines can’t be made forever because natural gas, coal, oil, uranium (thorium), neodymium, and other energy resources and minerals needed for wind turbines are finite, and … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy Resources, Electrification, Limits To Growth, Renewable Integration, Wind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is there enough renewable energy to replace fossil fuel electricity generation?

NREL. July 2012. U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This document is a thought experiment that uses GIS mapping to estimate how much renewable power could possibly be generated in each state regardless of … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Photovoltaic Solar, Renewable Integration, Solar Thermal, Wind | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Drawbacks of a distributed generation electric grid

Gardiner, B. October 8, 2013. Bypassing the Power Grid. New York Times. Small, decentralized generators are mostly inefficient, costing far more per unit of output than conventional power or even utility-scale renewable energy, like big solar farms.  Making haphazard changes … Continue reading

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Not enough wind, solar, geothermal to replace fossil and nuclear power in the 11 western states of the WECC

California, Oregon, Utah, and Washington have already developed most (if not all) of their prime-quality in-state resources. You would think that the more wind and solar power is added over a wide area, the more fossil fuel power plants you … Continue reading

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Smart Grid Challenges

Meier, A. May 2014. Challenges to the integration of renewable resources at high system penetration. California Energy Commission. A challenge to “smart grid” coordination is managing unprecedented amounts of data associated with an unprecedented number of decisions and control actions … Continue reading

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Spain Wind Integration

2 articles below: [energyresources] Digest Number 8957 [altered slightly] Jan 14, 2015   papp20032000  Pedro Prieto In Spain we have this mix, as of the end of 2014: INSTALLED POWER MW     %         GWH     % 19893 18.4    43191   16.7     … Continue reading

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German wind integration

NREL. 2012. Integrating Variable Renewable Energy in Electric Power Markets: Best Practices from International Experience. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Germany has developed a fund to encourage new fossil-fired power plants to use the most flexible technology available to maximize their … Continue reading

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Electric grid large power transformers take up to 2 years to build

[Large power transformers are essential critical infrastructure to the electric grid, and are huge, weighing up to 820,000 pounds.  If large power transformers are destroyed by a geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) electromagnetic pulse (EMP), cyber-attack, sabotage, severe weather, floods, or simply … Continue reading

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Generating electricity with biomass at utility-scale in California limited to direct combustion in small 50 MW plants

CEC. 2014. Estimated cost of new renewable and fossil generation in California. California Energy Commission. CEC-200-2014-003-SD. 254 pages. CHAPTER 8: Biomass Technology Biomass technologies are plants that use biological resources, such as forestry waste or farming by-products, to produce electricity … Continue reading

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