In the U.S. energy markets right now, more advocates are calling for clean energy alternatives like solar and wind power to be inducted in to change the country’s electricity portfolio. Analysts however caution against replacing nuclear and coal power plants as they say this could pose a threat to the national grid’s resilience and reliability.
Practically, the main reason many are against this is because they’re concerned about the speed of renewable energy transformation. Despite specialists choosing to frame the energy debate in a new vs old setting, there are many valid reasons as to why we should question the viability of rapidly moving from on-demand, easily dispatchable baseload power to the discontinuous electricity generated by wind and solar systems.
Generally, the obstacle lies in how to integrate these different sources of power safely. Texas experienced this issue firsthand last year and many claim that it should be addressed by clean energy advocates.
Earlier last year in March, unanticipated cold weather had Dallas homeowners turning up their thermostats to heat their homes. But as the power demand increased, the wind generation collapsed unexpectedly. It is reported that the scarcity of wind decreased the total turbine output in the area to about 1.6 gigawatts, which is far below the 10 gigawatts that are usually available in the area. This resulted in the power grid struggling to meet the increased demand that subsequently prompted electricity prices to climb by 700%.
This reminder was particularly convenient as it highlighted the unpredictability of weather and showed how relying heavily on wind-power renewable energy carries its own risks.
Texas still leads the country in wind driven power production and accounts for about 25% of the whole country’s wind driven power output. However, Texas also has substantial energy demands. The growing issue for Texas as well as most of the country is that the positive evaluations of solar and wind output aren’t meeting the demand.
Despite the many benefits, wind and solar power plants simply cannot generate on-demand power on a regular basis. To add to this, the battery storage that might possibly grow their overall capacity is still in its early stages of inception. Currently, the most advanced grid-scale batteries can only dispense a few hours of backup service which isn’t enough to cover the dragged out periods when the unyielding weather immensely decreases their output.
Texas’ experience illustrates the importance of finding functional balance in terms of solar and wind generation while also prioritizing on other sources of electricity systems in order to secure and maintain a reliable source of energy.
Companies like Bullfrog Gold Corp. (CSE: BFG) (OTCQB: BFGC) (FSE: 11B) know all too well the risks of depending on an unreliable power source, so the need for energy grid resilience is important to them.
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