This Sunday, and several days earlier, the LA Times ran a story on the front page that is sure to give encouragement to the nay-sayers of Green Energy.
"Energy goes to waste as state power glut grows" was the Sunday title.
http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-fi-e ... ity-solar/
They make the point that the amount of power wasted over a year is still small, only a percent or two, but it is growing.
KQED , San Francisco PBS, posted a similar story:
https://ww2.kqed.org/science/2016/04/04 ... uch-solar/
The KQED story had this graph from CAISO fro Mar 27, 2017:
My question is this:
Every clear morning we have the well-known "Duck Curve" where there is a big drop in Net Demand between 7am and 10am as the solar production rises faster that the load. On most days this surge is accommodated by throttling back natural gas production. So why does the graph not show hardly any significant cut back in natural gas production or other generation on this day?
The graph shows that wind declined in mid-day, largely compensating for the mid-day rise in solar.
Nuclear production has be to be steady on a time scale of days because short term cut-backs lead to buildup of intermediate radio-nuclides that poison the reaction. Hydro electric can adjust on time scales of an hour or less, but often the downstream flow has to be maintained. Geothermal is a steady source that is wasted if it is cut back.
My understanding is that natural gas can be adjusted fast, on the order of 15 min. On this date the total maximum production level of 24 GW was about half the normal peak summer load. Perhaps only natural gas plants vary in their adjustability, and all the easily adjusted ones were already off-line.
Perhaps the new battery banks that have been installed to back up the natural gas "peaker" plants so they don't have to run in idle until needed will reduce the minimum natural gas generation.
If anyone has informed answers, please post.