Excerpt from David Roberts, July 2018
The biggest problem seems to be linear growth thinking. New better cheaper technology grows exponentially, not linearly. Yet, time after time people present plans with a certain number of GWs or GWH added per year. The utilities have had many decades of linear growth with renewable barely making a ripple. Now those ripples are getting bigger exponentially, and they are systematically ill prepared to deal with non linear growth.
Add to that the intermittent nature of solar and wind confuses grid operators. They should be able to handle it like demand driven variability, and most have, particularly the successful renewable dominated grids. The old baseload thinking is still attractive to many, even though it is a mathematical fiction that does not fit the modern grid we are transitioning to.
Distributed grid control should not be based on super fast communication, that is a recipe for disasters. They need individual power limiters on all the major lines. Then each generators or responsive load need only look at the frequency and voltage to figure out the best thing for them to do.
Fossils are killing millions of people per year with pollution, and climate change threaten even larger death rates. There is no time to waste. Renewable is cheaper without gov breaks, yet we keep propping up fossils (and nuclear). Coal and nuclear are big old blockages on the road to renewable.