Solar overload — “Costs a fortune” as the super Duck Curve flood of electricity hits Australia

Solar overload — “Costs a fortune” as the super Duck Curve flood of electricity hits Australia, by Joanne Nova.

Proportionally, [Australia has] more uncontrolled solar roof top generators than any other nation. We’re in uncharted territory: about 20% of houses in Hawaii and California have Solar PV, but in Western Australia, it’s 25%. In Queensland it’s 30% …

Strap yourself in! This is more useless infrastructure than anywhere else on planet Earth. The only time solar PV panels provide something we might need is at afternoon tea time in summer when airconditioners are on. So for three quarters of the year they provide electricity when we don’t need it, and for three quarters of every day they don’t even work. The rest of the time they burn capital, increase the blackout and fire risk and sit there collecting dust and hail stones. …

Each year as more solar power arrives when we don’t need it in the middle of the day, the belly of the load curve swings lower and lower. Then as the sun fades and the peak need of the day arrives after dark the demand ramps up, and so must the supply. This peak is the ducks head. The neck of the duck is when generators must ramp up steeply to take over from the failing sun. It’s often when prices spike. ….

If we add more storage, we just toss more money in the pit in an attempt to flatten a curve that we created in the quest for greener electrons.

Read it all.