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  • Tuesday, March 12, 2019

    The Best Way To Support New Energy

    Charging With the Sun

    Severin Borenstein, March 11, 2019 (UC Berkeley Energy Institute)

    …[There are three types of views about the value of shifting energy usage away from peak demand to when New Energy is abundant on the power system, views that are] naïve, glib, and correct…[It is naïve to think more New Energy is used if usage is shifted to midday because the system’s] generation changes incrementally (what economists call “on the margin”) as demand changes…[P]production on the margin is typically dirtier than the overall average and much dirtier than 100% wind or solar…[It is glib to think that a shift in usage increases New Energy usage because] the grid operator adjusts production from a controllable power plant, which is almost never wind or solar…

    …[But more demand for New Energy] in those hours means less curtailment; in other words, wind and solar are occasionally on the margin…[It is correct that shifting usage] from one hour to another causes prices to rise in hours that get more demand…[giving production from wind and solar] a larger share of the total revenues paid to producers without changing their production…That makes investment in a wind or solar plant more profitable, and that leads to more investment in these technologies…So, no, you’re not getting green electrons by charging your EV or heating water when the sun is shining. You are doing something more important: creating financial incentives for more renewable generation investment…” click here for more


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