Duck Curve Shows California Is Ducking Real Energy Issues
Founder and CEO of the Institute for Energy Research
Principal, MasterResource: A Free-Market Energy Blog….
[Editor’s Note: California’s “Duck Curve” shows us it is steering itself into future energy crises by blindly pursuing a transition that will only lead to ever more blackouts.]
Social media is where the industry experts and talented professionals are effectively challenging the “magical thinking” behind climate alarmism/forced energy transformation, given the blackout of the mainstream media. As yet another example, Mike Hassaballa, energy engineer and consultant, reported on LinkedIn: “California’s Duck Curve Hits Record Lows.” His comment and graphics follow.
The famous “Duck Curve” that symbolizes the challenges of integrating renewable energy into the grid has reached an all-time low.
The Duck Curve, initially coined by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), illustrates the daily electricity demand and supply patterns in California. Its distinctive shape resembles a duck with its head and neck representing the daily net load, i.e., the difference between electricity demand and generation.
But why is this curve so important? The Duck Curve showcases the impact of renewable energy sources, particularly solar power, on the grid. As solar panels proliferate across California, the curve’s belly – symbolizing midday surplus energy – has been steadily growing. This phenomenon poses a challenge as it can result in excess electricity during the day, followed by a rapid ramp-up in demand as the sun sets. Managing this imbalance is crucial for a stable and reliable energy system.
This highlights the pressing need for energy storage solutions, demand response programs, and further integration of renewable energy into the grid. By effectively managing the duck curve, we can accelerate our transition to a more sustainable and resilient energy future.
More than 200 comments followed, most from the pro-renewables crowd arguing, in effect, “okay, this presents a challenge that the next phase of energy transformation, such as batteries and demand-reduction, must address.”
The critics of forced grid solar had comments ranging from “That is one ugly duckling,” which elicited the response: “It’s bound to be, it’s based on ‘quack’ climate science.” Then came the more serious. Dan Fowler commented in part:
The takeaway is that no new solar projects should be permitted (or are needed) without an equal amount of storage being made available.
No amount of batteries will address this problem at a fiscally sensible level. Pursuing further penetration of solar and wind, along with batteries will push California’s electricity rates ever higher to the point of impoverishing the population and driving any sensible business away.
Scott Tinker made the obvious point of more-of-the-same-is-worse:
… the logic of integrated more of the thing that is causing the duck into the system is somewhat lost on people who understand and have to manage these things. Perhaps additional dispatchable sources like natural gas and nuclear to create reliable electricity would be useful. And also have the benefit of bringing California’s highest in the nation [lower-48] electricity prices down for the consumer. Or, you could continue to follow Europe…
The obvious solution is to stop the wounding and treat the wound. No more wind and solar. And retire existing capacity to allow market signals to bring in combined cycle power plants fueled by either natural gas or fuel oil. Coal-by-wire should also be encouraged. The electricity rate debacle can be solved and Big Brother kept out of the home.
The forced energy transformation crowd continues to be in denial about how badly the California grid has been compromised by wind and solar, how expensive the battery solution is, and the prospect of Big Brother in the home (setting temperatures and restricting power use at will). As Ludwig von Mises observed, the failure of government intervention leads to more and more intervention, posing a choice between free markets and Leviathan.
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