A Temporary Solution Before Mass Energy Storage

Today at work I attended a training about how to handle settlements in the energy imbalance market (EIM). It was a long training, but that is not the point. The point is that this is a new market place that has developed in recent years for industrial suppliers of power to be able to ramp up and ramp down their generation as the grid demands. One of the main reasons that this market has developed is because of the large addition of variable renewable energy (VRE). VRE is energy like solar and wind that has large swings in its output.green-energy-could-crash-the-us-power-grid

In my post ‘The Energy Storage Challenge’ I talked about how we need to develop more storage technologies and increase their presence in the market. That is still very true but until we get to that point the energy community has come up with this solution to get us through the transition. The idea is that we can look at the bigger picture of all of the electricity available on the grid. Then when the sun goes down or some clouds cover a certain area, this EIM can dispatch more power from another generator that is also on the grid.

This is a pretty good temporary solution, and it allows the grid to remain stable but it means we are still heavily reliant on non-renewable energy sources. Basically for every megawatt of wind or solar energy that is produced, we still have to have 1 MW of coal or natural gas to offset it. So we are still dependent on these other technologies. This dependence will continue until we are able to transition into mode where we can generate extra solar energy in the day and store it so that we can use it at night time.

I think this blog post went a little into the weeds but if you have any thoughts on the EIM please leave a comment below.

Lead Photo Credit: http://lighttalk.via-verlag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/solarcoal-620×330.jpg

Story Photo Credit: http://static4.businessinsider.com/image/529e0871eab8ea8f3b69ae5e/green-energy-could-crash-the-us-power-grid.jpg



Author: evannwarner

I currently work at a geothermal power company as the Asset Manager. Working in this position has given me a deep understanding of today’s current energy market as well as an understanding of how renewable energy fits into the picture. My background is in mechanical engineering which gives me insight into how the technical side of energy generation works. After gaining this valuable knowledge about the current energy market, I am interested in finding ways to improve the situation. I would like to work with new ideas and techniques to make advances in energy generation technology. As part of my quest to find new and better methods for our energy Future, I am also interested in where inspiration for ideas comes from. In particular, finding new applications for existing ideas is a powerful idea in my mind. Some of the great breakthroughs in our society occurred as a result of people thinking of new applications for existing ideas.

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