The last point CSIRO made wasn’t unique at all – it’s one that grid-keepers every say: “We need a highly flexible electricity grid. If large amounts of solar energy are to be used as a power source in the future, the electricity grid has to be designed or adapted for renewable energy sources, while keeping network costs low.”
This is a frequent concern heard in the United States with wind power, though not so much with solar. In part this is because wind is much bigger than solar, but even in places where solar has gotten a halfway decent foothold, it tends not to be seen as the problem child that wind can be.
That’s pretty much what Stephanie McCorkle, director of communications for the California Independent System Operator, said recently.
Greentech Media, in an interview with McCorkle, reported: “McCorkle explained, ‘With solar, you have a gradual ramp with a peak when you need it at AC [air conditioning] rush hour,’ adding that ‘solar is a nice peaking resource’ without the fluctuations of wind power. Solar is fairly predictable at this time of year in California absent coastal marine layers moving in and causing variability. She did note that conventional generation was still needed as a backup resource.”
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