Energy Mix

This is what many people should grasp what renewables and nuclear are about. The real electricity world operates with an energy mix. In many places there is open electricity trading, and if you introduce new sources to the marketplace, it affects the buying of other sources. So if you have lots of coal and gas, introducing wind power, even when the wind doesn’t blow constantly, can reduce the usage of the coal and gas power.

So here is a rough sketch how fossil fuels might be eliminated gradually in some mythical place with lots of solar and hydro power. This is not an accurate description of reality, more of a demonstration of principle. Now I’m really in a hurry and have to go, I probably don’t have time to review things for a few days, so can’t respond immediately to comments.

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2 Responses to Energy Mix

  1. Chris says:

    Your graph’s all wonky. Solar should peak at around 2pm, with molten salt solar-thermal generators providing peak power until 10-11pm.

  2. gravityloss says:

    Hmm. It’s a demonstration of the principle. Though, the graphs are pretty bad, so it might not demonstrate that very well either.

    Maybe I should do at least mathematically correct ones, ie where the hydro area stays constant etc…

    There are a lot of people who use the reason that since wind and solar are not continuous power sources, they are useless, or the slightly strawman versions like “What happens when they don’t produce electricity? We freeze?” or “They can’t be the solution”.

    I’m trying to demonstrate how real energy markets always operate with an energy mix, and if you add wind / solar / nuclear into that, it has effects, and it should be judged by those effects.

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