The news stories I've read on the matter put a very happy spin on this; it is good to have such problems. In reality, it represents the inefficiencies of trying to schedule and sun and wind. Many stories I've seen compare U.S. prices per KWh with Germany's and gleefully point out that they're practically the same ... and they are! What they fail to point out is that in addition to the pure price per KWh that we pretty much enjoy, Germans also pay acquistion fees, grid fees, value added taxes, concession taxes, renewable surcharge, electricity tax, and a CHP surcharge which works out to ~30 cents per KWh.Anaxagoras wrote:Story out of Germany here. They have gotten this far:
http://qz.com/680661/germany-had-so-muc ... ectricity/
Can you turn a foundry or refinery on and off as the price of electricity fluctuates throughout the day?
So ... take your electricity and double it. And for what? Are they enjoying a cleaner environment? Not as of 2014 but I haven't looked lately.
A new study out of
puts the Solar EROI at .82, causing much whaling and gnashing of teeth among the solar elite. Put another way, for every Watt you put into making an installing and managing a solar panel, you only get .82 watts back.
It seems a little low to me--and really is quite low if you're placing your panels in Nevada--but this study looks at northern latitudes (i.e. Scotland and Germany) specifically; areas were the solar incidence is already so low that it really doesn't matter what direction you point your panels. The study looks clean enough but I haven't yet seen a naysayers critique (other than ad homs and strawmen).
It isn't going to net you much; I don't think it would cost effective when you add in the real technology costs, management costs, graft costs and cheating costs to that pipe dream. Last I looked refrigeration worked out to ~10% of the total bill. A really pie-in-the-sky system wherein 100% of all refrigerators were under total control of perfect scheduling algorithm might, maybe put a third of that into delayed base-load play. Add in all those costs and losses and it would be cheaper just to build a nuclear plant or two to cover that load shift.Cent wrote:One of the main 'base load' uses of electricity that can be turned on and off (to some degree) in response to grid demand is refrigeration equipment.
As an example of just the cheating costs: many years ago the power company convinced me to allow them to put a kill switch on my water heater under their control. In return I got a nice discount on my bill. They promised I'd likely never notice. I noticed plenty almost every-fucking-morning while taking a cold shower. After a month I bypassed that fucker. But I kept the discount. 'Cause that's the way I roll.