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This is for Australia. Similar studies for Europe exist. The picture is very similar: combine wind and solar to match the annual load cycle and partly cancel synoptic variability; several-hours storage for part of solar to make it usable for night hours also; and build a modest overcapacity.

The only thing different in the Heide plan is the use of hydrogen storage (rather than biofuels/biogas) for synoptic time scale backup. Other storage options studied in Germany are syngas (methane) from spilled electricity which could be stored straight into the existing natural-gas infrastructure. Existing capacity would be several months!

by mustakissa on Fri Aug 16th, 2013 at 12:45:15 PM EST
Note though that this is not a planning approach. It takes the available technologies and optimizes for the least cost portfolio. And in that least cost portfolio, there is no distinct role for any power generator to serve "base load" demand.

Which means that "baseload demand" doesn't exist for this least cost system. Its not a concept that is of any use in managing this estimated least cost portfolio of energy sources.

And, yes, whether to use a grid-dispatchable power source, such as biogas in the Australian case (given that Australia has such large livestock exports on a per-capita basis), or biocoal, or to use stored energy, such a syngas or ammonia ... that's a cost optimization question.

It is likely to be different in different regions of the world, based on the budget of grid-dispatchable renewable energy sources and the abundance of volatile sustainable, renewable energy sources.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Aug 16th, 2013 at 04:25:22 PM EST
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