Green energy problems
Original post made by Engineer, South of Midtown, on Feb 28, 2008
The basic problem was that inconsistency of wind caused a grid disruption. These types of disruptions can occur whenever there is a sudden drop of output from a given power plant, no matter the driving energy source. However, wind is much more likely to produce such effects, becasue of its variability. Solar has the same issue, though probably not as dramatic (think about cloud cover).
The base load electical supply is different than the peak load. Solar and wind are usually good for add on supply at peak load (mid afternoon). However, they are not good at night. As more electric vehicles start plugging in at night, the peak load will shift to night.
How does the alternative energy approach satisfy the various, seemingly contradictory, demands? If one wants clean energy, including no CO2 emmissions, eletric trains, plug-in vehicles, air conditioning, reduced bird kills (wind), reduced demand in the face of increased population, etc., where is the answer?
I will say, ahead of time, that I support nuclear power, but I have no confidence that it will be allowed. Therefore, leave nuclear off the table ("Greg"), and where does that leave us? Perhaps my engineering training is old fashioned, but I don't see an answer.