One idea is to couple solar and wind power to hydroelectric generation - can be adjusted quickly
Reader comment on: Bill Gates on Welfare, Energy, and God
in response to reader comment: very woozy technological thinking
Submitted by Mark Michael (United States), Mar 19, 2014 13:04
I believe that hydroelectric power, i.e., that generated by dams like Hoover (Lake Mead, reservoir), Glenn Canyon (Lake Powell, reservoir) can vary their power output very quickly, unlike coal-fired plants, nuclear plants. So they are ideal partners with solar and wind power sources. At night, or when the wind is too low (or too high - they feather the windmills in very high winds, also), then the hydroelectric generators increase their output. That way they can balance out the intermittent power with the least extra overhead.
Given that I've not seen any major adaption of our many hydroelectric plants - mostly out West - to couple them with very large solar panel fields and windmill farms. [Okay, maybe those generators cannot be adapted on an almost hourly basis - or at least, say, a 6-hour basis, not sure.]
Another problem that's seldom discussed is the interstate major transmission grid. If this "green" energy gets large enough, then we need a much more capable interstate grid - and they way it's set up today, there's no natural industry that can make a profit doing so easily. Here in Ohio, we have a 12.5% requirement to have "green" power by 2025. We've developed a fair number of wmindmill farms, consequently. Unfortunately, a cold-eyed analysis of it told the legislature that our electric utility costs are going to make the state industry much less competitive than it already is today. Since the GOP controls both houses of the legislature, the governorship, and every statewide elected office, they figured they'd just repeal it. No dice. Too many GOP legislators had a few of those "green" companies in their districts and refused to go along! Groan. They came up with letting Ohio utilities buy green power from out of state, since Ohio's winds aren't exactly "robust." Well, the weakness of the grid, plus the houling of the local green companies ended that idea.
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Other reader comments on this item
|Gates Wants to Help [230 words]||Eugene Patrick Devany||Mar 18, 2014 17:32|
|very woozy technological thinking|
[w/response] [201 words]
|John Gillis||Mar 18, 2014 17:19|
|↔ ⇒ One idea is to couple solar and wind power to hydroelectric generation - can be adjusted quickly [318 words]||Mark Michael||Mar 19, 2014 13:04|
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