- Aug 10, 2020
- Reaction score
- Illinois, USA
- GMC Sierra Hybrid (2-Mode)
I was mostly thinking about the impact of solar. I should have been more specific.EVs mostly charge non-peak hours. Very little charging is during peak hours. Instead of a peaker plant, we would make sure every EV comes with a timer in its charging system. Which would both make the battery last longer and shift the load to when we have capacity.
Making sire workplaces have a place to charge up at would be good, too, because solar comes in the day. All those parking lots could be solar - shading the cars and filling them up with cheap power.
As you likely know, but many members of this forum do not, there are a few things about the electric grid that need to be explained more explicitly:
- The "duck curve" describes the typical daily variation in electricity demand. The peak is in mid-afternoon (when A/C is required), and the low is late at night. They call it the "duck curve" because some people say it looks like a duck when plotted.
- Baseload plants (coal & nuclear mostly) take days to throttle up, and so they mostly run at full power all the time. Because they cannot track electrical demand efficiently, they cannot power our whole electric grid.
- Peaker plants (hydro, NG turbines, batteries) can throttle up in minutes.
- Renewable energy plants produce power when nature tells them to.
- All of this has to add up to the demand (the "duck curve") in order to keep the grid balanced. There's a behind-the-scenes wholesale electricity-production market to make sure this happens.
My comment was mostly about what changes would need to happen behind the scenes if we deployed enough solar to start displacing baseload power during the day. When that happens, we'll need more peaker plants, because renewables are less predictable than coal plants.
Hopefully this helps frame the conversation better.