Gasification Articles Background

Avoid the Duck Curve – Go Green with Brown

Avoid the Duck Curve – Go Green with Brown

Source

Aries Clean Energy

Publication Date

March 13, 2019

A viable waste-to-energy system can operate 24 hours a day and provide on-demand energy. When the sun starts to set, a waste-to-energy system can provide electricity to the grid to meet the increased demand during peak hours. The ability to have a baseload energy production system starts to mitigate the duck curve.

By Bernard Brown, Director, Business Development West Coast, Aries Clean Energy

The amount of daytime solar energy can be a great benefit for communities who have the resources to harness that power from the sun. The southwestern United States has been fortunate in being able to create grid networks using solar technology. These grid networks have been able to maximize daytime solar energy, and, in some instances, solar grids have generated too much energy.
Additionally, solar energy creates a phenomenon called the duck curve. The duck curve is a power production scale showing low demand during solar energy production during the day and then a scaling increase in demand during peak evening hours. It is called duck due to the shape it reveals when mapped on a grid. The surge of power needed when a large percent of our population heads home, starts cooking, drying laundry, etc., between 6 and 9 pm form the head of the duck (shown in an example chart below). The solution to this problem can be a waste to energy system.

Baseload Energy Production

The difference between solar energy and waste-to-energy systems is baseload energy production. The benefit of using a gasification waste-to-energy plant is being able to provide immediate on-demand electricity to the grid. This means that the plant does not depend on the sun – it depends on wood waste and/or biosolids for a feedstock. Solar energy has it benefits when it comes to creating a sustainable energy grid. However, the sun does not always shine, and solar cells cannot increase demand production when needed. A solution is energy from waste.
A viable waste-to-energy system can operate 24 hours a day and provide on-demand energy. When the sun starts to set, a waste-to-energy system can provide electricity to the grid to meet the increased demand during peak hours. The ability to have a baseload energy production system starts to mitigate the duck curve created by solar based grids. Additionally, waste-to-energy solutions are still helping to reduce waste streams from landfills, reduce greenhouse production and lower a carbon footprint.

Converting Waste To Energy Can Flatten The Duck Curve

The key factor here is to recognize that an energy system can be a whole system approach. Relying on one technology or one fuel source can be problematic and impact your grids resiliency factor. The whole systems approach requires an engineered design to recognize risks and mitigate those risks by design. Here, the use of a waste-to-energy system can create a balanced base load approach in solving the duck curve.

For more information on gasification:
https://ariescleanenergy.com/gasification/

Related Resources:
https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/confronting-duck-curve-how-address-over-generation-solar-energy
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/renewables-integration-in-the-midwest-is-a-whole-other-animal#gs.1SCCeMPT
https://alcse.org/the-duck-curve-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean/
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/10-ways-to-solve-the-renewable-duck-curve

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