Green energy is so unreliable and intermittent that it could wreck the power grid, according to industry and government experts.
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is currently investigating how green energy undermines the reliability of the electrical grid. FERC believe there is a “significant risk” of electricity in the United States becoming unreliable because “wind and solar don’t offer the services the shuttered coal plants provided.” Environmental regulations could make operating coal or natural gas power plant unprofitable, which could compromise the reliability of the entire power grid.
“The intermittency of renewable sources of electricity is already threatening reliability in Britain,” Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. ” This is because there are so many windmills that conventional power plants are being closed as uneconomic and so when the wind doesn’t blow there is not adequate backup power available. To avoid blackouts, the government is now paying large sums to have several hundred big diesel generators on standby. If this sounds crazy, it is. ”
Britain plans to shut down 1.5 gigawatts of electrical capacity from the UK’s power grid. Emergency measures have already been taken to keep the lights on, but official analysis suggests there could be insufficient electricity on a windless day. The unreliability of green energy sources isn’t limited to Britain. The U.S. is also attempting to integrate green energy into the power grid, and it is already undermining reliability and is a huge disruption.
“If you continue going down this route, you’re going to have significant challenges in managing disturbances,” John Moura, director of reliability assessment at the North American Electric Reliability Corp, told EnergyWire Monday.
Solar and wind power systems require conventional backups to provide power, because they do not generate electricity at times when it is most needed. Since the output of solar and wind plants cannot be predicted with high accuracy by forecasts, grid operators have to keep excess reserve running just in case.
Natural gas, coal-fired, or nuclear plants are not simple machines and can require days to fully turn on from a dead stop. This means that solar and wind power need to be backed up by conventional sources in “stand-by” mode to ensure reliability.
In order for the power grid to function, demand for energy must exactly match supply. Power demand is relatively predictable and conventional power plans, like nuclear plants and natural gas, can adjust output accordingly. Solar and wind power, however, cannot easily adjust output. Peak power demand also occurs in the evenings, when solar power is going offline. Adding green power, which only provide power at intermittent and unpredictable times, makes the power grid more fragile.
Wind and solar also run the risk of producing too much power which can overload and fry the power grid. This is why electrical companies will occasionally pay consumers to take electricity.
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