Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Is Solar in UK Like Solar in California?


On 3rd May, California had a capacity crisis. Their hydro power reserve had run out of water because of the drought, there was little wind, and the peak demand even in air-conditioned California was after dark. Demand side response came to the rescue thanks largely to Enernoc, and 800 MW was lopped off the  34 GW or so of peak demand, preventing large-scale outages. (The green net demand curve is net of solar PV and of DSR)
But look at how much of the near-peak demand is met by solar.
In UK , in winter, this would not happen. Our peak demand occurs several hours after the watery winter sun has already set. 
All the more reason, then, to be concerned about getting as much time-shifting as possible out of the winter peak. The alternatives to this are:
  • Power outages
  • More expensive nuclear electricity
  • More carbon emitting gas-fired electricity
  • Expensive and polluting storage
  • The energy trilemma writ large - unaffordable, unsustainable, unreliable electricity

So - be an early adopter, get ahead of the game, and prepare for next winter by planning to shift all water heating appliances out of the 3-8pm peak! Hundreds of thousands already time-shift, do you?