THE POWER OF FLEXIBILITY


AGILE GENERATORS AND INTEGRATION OF HEAT AND POWER FACILITATE THE INTRODUCTION OF MUCH MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY.

The-Power-of-Flexibility

Why was your new book Power Supply Challenges necessary? 

Because people think it’s simple: we’re running the world now on fossil fuels, and we’ve added a couple of solar panels, and we’ve added some windmills and everything’s going fine. So what we can do is just expand the number of windmills and solar panels until we have 100% renewables. And that’s not correct: 10% is not a problem for solar, 20% is not a problem for wind, but if you go further, then big problems start arising. That’s the limit with the current system.

What are the biggest problems the electricity system will see as an ever larger share of power generation comes from renewables? 

A major issue is that unrestricted output from solar panels and wind turbines can often largely exceed demand, while storing electrical energy over longer times is not possible — it’s way too expensive. In addition the current generation of generators is too slow to be a good backup for renewables, and further, when you have only a small number of large fuel-based generators on the system, because most of the power is coming from renewables, failure of one big power plant creates big problems…



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