The ‘duck curve’ is solar energy’s greatest challenge

The ‘duck curve’ is solar energy’s greatest challenge

Renewables require change in the energy supply chain.

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Electricity is incredibly difficult to store, so grid operators have to generate it at the exact moment it is demanded. In order to do this, they create incredibly accurate models of the total electric loads, that is how much energy will be consumed on a given day. But as utilities started to produce more energy from renewable sources like solar, the models started to shift as well.

California researchers discovered a peculiarity in their state’s electric load curves, that started to look more and more like a duck. And that duck shaped chart highlights the greatest challenge to solar energy growth in the US.

Vox writer David Roberts has been covering the issue for a few years now. You can read some of his past explainers on the duck curve, and its solutions at the links below:

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/3/20/17128478/solar-duck-curve-nrel-researcher

https://www.vox.com/2016/2/10/10960848/solar-energy-duck-curve

https://www.vox.com/2016/4/8/11376196/california-grid-expansion

https://www.vox.com/2016/2/12/10970858/flattening-duck-curve-renewable-energy

And if you would like to read some of the source material used in the video above, you can check those out here: https://www.caiso.com/documents/flexibleresourceshelprenewables_fastfacts.pdf https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/65023.pdf

Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.

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Comments

G Mist says:

Hey vox can you please make a video on effects of climate change in indian peninsula ? (as it's the most vulnerable to it)

Aleksandar Dochev says:

Here in Bulgaria we have the solution for decades its a dam with pumps . Its called PAVEC

Mac Tek says:

Solar power is inefficient, wasteful, and polluting. Solar power can never ever replace more efficient sources of power. The sun does not produce the energy when we need it. Solar panel production produces pollution and contains heavy elements that are destined for landfills across the globe.

kor'vre says:

its called a battery

Auroriia says:

Build storage for solar energy.

Bienveillance Blaze says:

I also love how I'm watching this in the middle of a two day power outage

Bienveillance Blaze says:

Shoutout to Jersey City New Jersey at 0:23! I know exactly where that shot is taken.

Ben Lizotte says:

Power to Gas has lot of potential facing this situation

stretchchris1 says:

Just have the solar panels in an area 6 hours ahead of where they are supplying.

Carl Willows says:

Where did you get those graphs?

Mansoor Zia says:

There are small devices that 'store' the electric charge through solar energy like an inverter, but I guess it hasn't been done on a larger scale.

pwghost says:

molten salt batteries

Jakob Bergman says:

We dont we use the denmark-norway water battery bank as a example, you pump water up into the mountains and the use hydro power during the night

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