Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • Energy GuyEnergy Guy
    Keymaster
    Post count: 9
    #2001 |

    Renewable energy, notably solar power, is drastically changing the shape of the load profile on the electric grid. Demand for electricity during the hours of the day when the sun is shining is plummeting, and demand after the sun goes down, around 8:00 pm is surging. This excellent graph, posted by Angela Sun, Demand Generation Manager with Urjanet, on the Energy Central Community shows the grid load profile in California from 2012 and is projected out to 2020.

    Electric Grid Energy Profile

    Utilities cannot cost effectively deal with this issue. Large generating plants must run 24/7, so utility’s end up paying for the power even during the low demand periods of the day when they cannot sell it. They need a flat load profile to produce electricity as economically as possible. Otherwise, they must always maintain enough generation to handle the highest expected load. Currently, utility’s are using as much natural gas generation as possible to satisfy the high peak loads because gas turbines can be cranked up and shut down quickly. However, the cost is high.

    What is the solution? A combination of increased energy efficiency and more energy storage is the most likely answer to leveling out the curve. And to control how much power is on the grid, more usage data and analysis is required to better predict usage patterns.

    One thing is for certain, there will be action taken because the load profile of the next few years is not acceptable to utilities with large generating plants. We are witnessing unprecedented changes!

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Energy GuyEnergy Guy.
    • This topic was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Energy GuyEnergy Guy.
    • This topic was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Energy GuyEnergy Guy.
    • This topic was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Energy GuyEnergy Guy.
    • This topic was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Energy GuyEnergy Guy.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Energy GuyEnergy Guy.
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.