From No Tricks Zone — July 21, 2014
By P Gosselin on 21. Juli 2014
Germany today likes to boast a total of 36,000 megawatts of installed photovoltaic capacity and over 30,000 MW capacity of wind power. Theoretically at noon on a sunny, windy day Germany could cover almost all of its electric power demand, which at noon on a workday is roughly 70,000 megwatts.
But anyone familiar with Germany’s climate knows the country’s weather is often gray and sees about as much sunshine as Alaska does. Germany has a fair amount of windy days, but periods of windless days are also frequent enough. They can’t be avoided and must be reckoned with. In a nutshell, solar and wind power production are often AWOL and so conventional power systems (coal, gas, nuclear) always need to be on standby, ready to deliver on a minute’s notice.
To illustrate, the following chart depicts German electric power production and consumption over the 6-day period 14-19 July: conventional power (gray), solar production (yellow), wind (dark blue), hydro (light blue) and biomass (green). German consumption is shown by the red line. Continue reading here…..