Category Archives: Grid instability

Underground pumped hydro storage is the only technology capable of massive storage for renewable electricity

[ Picard concludes that “None of the candidate technologies for massive-scale renewable and sustainable generation of ‘‘green’’ electricity deliver it in a form suitable for high-efficiency storage. None of the prospectively-massive storage modes for transformed electricity is at present well … Continue reading

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Can the lights be kept on with distributed generation? 2015 U.S. House hearing on a reliable electric system.

This is entirely testimony from corporate speakers.  Congress often asks the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to write unbiased papers on topics, so why don’t they invite NAS and National Laboratory scientists to speak? Corporations are selling a product, and … Continue reading

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Wanted: Math geniuses and power engineers to make a renewable grid possible

Figure 1. OPF solution of original seven-bus system with generator at bus 4 offering high [The U.S. electric grid produces over two-thirds of its power with finite fossil fuels, and another 20% from nuclear power.   Since fossil fuels and uranium … Continue reading

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Why we need a diverse electricity generation portfolio: House hearing 2013

House 113-12. March 5, 2013. American Energy security and innovation. The role of a diverse electricity generation portfolio. House of Representatives. 135 pages. June 5, 2015. Proposed Clean Power Plan would accelerate renewable additions and coal plant retirements. U.S. Energy … Continue reading

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Why the Grid is getting less reliable. House Hearing 2013.

House 113-40. May 9, 2013. Grid reliability challenges in a shifting energy resource landscape. U.S. House of Representatives. 176 pages. Mr. Jonathan A. Lesser, President Continental Economics, Inc. [This is a really good introduction to how the grid works and … Continue reading

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Blackstarting the grid after a power outage

Blackstarts Large blackouts can be particularly devastating and happen much more frequently than a normal distribution predicts. The impact of a blackout exponentially increases with the duration of the blackout, and the duration of restoration decreases exponentially with the availability … Continue reading

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CSP with thermal energy storage is seasonal, so it can not balance variable power or contribute much power for half the year

Concentrated Solar Power not only needs lots of sunshine, but no humidity, clouds, dust, smog or or anything else that can scatter the sun’s rays.  Above 35 degrees latitude north or south, the sun’s rays have to pass through too … Continue reading

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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

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Extreme Events. CEC 2011. Variable distributed generation from solar and wind increase the chance of large blackouts

Morgan, M., et al.   (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Electric Power Research Institute, BACV Solutions, Southern Company, CIEE, University of Alaska – Fairbanks, and KEMA). 2011. Extreme Events. California Energy Commission. Publication number: CEC-500- 2013-031. Figure 18: BLACKOUT … Continue reading

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Challenges to making California’s grid 33% renewables

Meier, A. May 2014. Challenges to the integration of renewable resources at high system penetration. California Energy Commission. Energy Research and Development Division FINAL PROJECT REPORT.  California Energy Commission California Institute for Energy and Environment MAY 2014 Alexandra von Meier … Continue reading

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