avocado_tom (avocado_tom) wrote,

Renewable Energy Impacts on the Grid

People have been sharing this article on the "virtues" of wind and solar knocking coal and natural gas units off the grid, so I thought I'd chime in.

First: the article doesn't talk about to W&S are knocking nukes off the grid, with wind predominantly affecting nukes. Btw, those are our largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG)-free of electricity.

Second: W&S are not knocking natural gas off the grid: they depend on NG units - primarily inefficient NG units - to work. They also force NG units to operate less efficiently.

Lastly, there's another way to look at what this article is saying: The more solar and wind power that is installed, the more the price of electricity goes up.

This raises several questions:

1. How does that impact consumers who can't pay their electricity bills already? (Disproportionately affecting the poor and minorities)

2. How will this impact the economy? (Higher prices == higher operating costs -> American businesses become less competitive)

3. When will we hit a tipping point when prices increase at a higher rate due to intermittent electricity integration costs (i.e. adding batteries, more voltage support, building more high voltage transmission lines that people aren't in favor of (NIMBY), etc.)?
Tags: energy

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