In a sense, stationing diesel-fueled generators outside key buildings to provide emergency power is a start down this path. But fuel supply lines can be disrupted too, so renewable energy is best for a long-lasting solution. Solar photovoltaic systems, which generate electricity directly from sunlight, are best because they are easy to maintain, can be located almost anywhere and don’t need to be refueled.
Should the demand response baseline be raised in heat waves? Shouldn’t you be expected to use more power than average when the temperature spikes?
The DOE study found cheap natural gas to be the greatest driver of baseload power plant retirements, followed by flat power demand, environmental regulations and the growing penetration of renewables on the grid. Perhaps most notably, the study did not find renewables to be a threat to grid reliability.
Solar brightfields could help meet this demand for solar generation in land-constrained states by focusing projects on former industrial sites and contaminated land without causing new environmental concerns.
Whereas 82 percent of offshore turbines ordered between 2001 and 2005 were under 3 megawatts, today there are no machines of that size on order.
Instead, 71 percent of orders are for products 5 megawatts or greater, and 16 percent are for turbines of 8 megawatts or greater. “Despite long project cycles and R&D timelines, commercial demand continues to favor the largest turbines,” says the report. “The next generation of 12-megawatt-plus turbines will gain market share within the next five years.”
Wyoming rejects a proposed coal mine. Wyoming produces 40% of the US’s coal.
The Switch: How solar, storage and new tech means cheap power for all
by Chris Goodall, 2016
Good up-to-date description of solar prices, technology, and potential. Covers the potential to get almost all of our power from the sun. Discusses the drawbacks and barriers, including what happens when the sun doesn’t shine. Batteries for short-term storage. An interesting idea that I hadn’t known about is power to gas for long term storage. Basically, use hydrolysis to generate hydrogen from water, and combine that with carbon-based molecules (either drawn from the air, see Climeworks, or captured from existing industry/power generation) to form energy-rich gases like methane. The gas can then be stored in existing infrastructure to be burned over dark winters in the northern parts of Europe and Canada where they don’t get enough sunlight to run entirely on solar power. Good read, with highlights of some early-stage companies trying to bring about a solar-powered future.
Lack of growth in energy consumption could foretell a financial crisis.