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Integrating Renewable Electricity on the Grid report urges for solutions regarding energy storage, long-distance transmission and forecasting

The American Physical Society's Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) has released a report which offers suggestions on what is needed to both establish a national renewable electricity standard as well as merge the divided U.S. grid system. 

The report, Integrating Renewable Electricity on the Grid, provides several recommendations for setting a national renewable electricity standard and linking the fragmented U.S. grid system in an effort to move forward with a broader use of solar and wind power. 

In the report, the POPA suggested that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) should focus on energy storage, since the wind may not always blow and the sun may not always shine. If there is a shortage of electricity to a household, this could hinder their way of life for an uncertain period of time. The development of a strategy for energy storage in grid-level applications would show regulators the benefits that storing energy brings to generation and transmission services on the grid. The POPA also recommends increasing research and development in basic electrochemistry as a way of choosing materials that could be used in the storage devices. In addition, a review of the technological potential of battery chemistries should be conducted to see if they could be applied to grid storage and energy.

"We need to move faster to have storage ready to accommodate, for example, 20 percent of renewable electricity on the grid by 2020," said George Crabtree, co-chairman of the POPA study panel and a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. "And, by devoting the necessary resources to the problem, I am confident that we can solve it."

Long-distance transmission is another problem facing the grid. The long-distance transmission of electricity from areas that have plenty of wind and sun to areas that do not is a challenge the DOE must overcome. To do so, the POPA suggests accelerating research and development on wide band gap power electronics as a way of controlling power flow on the grid. Creating semiconductor-based circuit breakers at 200 kilovolts and 50 kilo amperes as well as alternating to direct current conversion options could aid in controlling this power flow. Also, the POPA noted that extending the Office of Electricity program on High Temperature Superconductivity for 10 years while concentrating on the direct current superconducting cables for transmission would assist in insuring long-distance transmission.

What makes this report different from many other grid studies is that its recommendations provide scientific and business perspectives. On the business side of things, the POPA urges the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to first develop an "integrated business case" that covers the value of electricity storage and renewable generation as far as transmission and distribution goes. Then, adopt a "uniform integrated business case" that serves as the final evaluation and regulatory structure along with the state Public Utility Commissions. 

Forecasting is the final category of recommendation the POPA addresses, suggesting that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the National Weather Service and private vendors change time scales from hours to days in order to improve the accuracy of wind and weather forecasts. Also, wind plant operators, regulatory agencies and forecast providers should create uniform standards for both preparing and delivering power and wind generation forecasts. Regulatory agencies and Wind plant operators were also urged to create operating procedures to reply to power generation forecasts, develop criteria for contingencies and response to weather disturbances, and design response other than using conventional reserve, such as electricity storage and distant transmission. 

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By joe4324 on 11/17/2010 1:44:47 PM , Rating: 1
OR we could just aspire to use less and not build anything. Implement a 'negawatt' program similar to china. Instead of building a new nuke, put the same money into incentives to cut needs by a equal amount. LED lighting, dual pane glazing, induction cooking etc etc.

Renewables need to be the future, too bad we will need a 'real' nuke disaster to prove it. But they won't provide what we need if we keep finding new ways to burn the extra juice we save by new technology.

Move away from centralized generation (this includes large wind plants!) since thats where we loose half our power anyway, embrace renewables, use half what we use now and share your excess power with your neighbors via grid-tie.

Just my two cents, course I'm writing this on a ATOM netbook off-grid. I already went down the rabbit hole and not expecting many to follow.

RE: radical
By tng on 11/17/2010 1:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
Conservation will only go so far until you have to build new.

Allot of people out there think that all we have to do is cut our power usage by 10%, 20% and that will save us. It may for a short time, but in another 10 years you would ask us to cut by another 10%? Where does that stop before you are allowed to use power only at certain times of the day or even certain days of the week?

When electricity went sky high here in California around 2000, allot of us cut our bills by installing CFLs, unplugging things that we didn't use all the time, etc... I cut my bill by 50% and then was told that I should cut it again by at least another 20% a couple of years later. I am sure that I could spend a bunch of money and get more efficient appliances and install LED lighting, but in several more years they will ask for more and I am tired of it.

RE: radical
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 2:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
SO... you managed? What are you complaining about? Stop whining and take example from your immune system: year after year microbes attack it yet you are still alive, aren't you?

RE: radical
By tng on 11/17/2010 3:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you really are something aren't you?

Oh yeh, I am looking for more ways to conserve, but obviously you would be fine if we all had to live to your standards?

Someday all of your green dreams will come true and you will be sorry that you got exactly what you asked for....

Now go back to your cave and play with your rocks...

RE: radical
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 4:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hm, did I touch your feelings somehow?

RE: radical
By tng on 11/17/2010 6:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
Hope you were wearing gloves...

RE: radical
By tng on 11/17/2010 1:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, I will be more than happy to install solar panels on my roof if you are willing to pay for them personally.

Seems you are more than willing to use other peoples money to provide "incentives", so why not yours if you are so pro on the subject.

RE: radical
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 2:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
Conservation is good, but here we are talking about oil displacement and population growth. How do you conserve 1 CMO?

RE: radical
By Spuke on 11/17/2010 6:30:13 PM , Rating: 2
How do you conserve 1 CMO?
Stop using plastic bags?

RE: radical
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 7:41:47 PM , Rating: 2

RE: radical
By kattanna on 11/18/2010 11:05:36 AM , Rating: 2
OR we could just aspire to use less and not build anything. Implement a 'negawatt' program similar to china

oh man, thats a good belly laugh. china? really?? the country that cant build new coal power plants fast enough you use as an example of "negawatt" LOL!!

Renewables need to be the future, too bad we will need a 'real' nuke disaster to prove it.

renewables do have a place in our future, just not completely replacing all other forms.

and your hoping for a massive nuclear accident to "prove" your point. WOW so many people need to die for you to be happy? not even going to finish my thoughts on that line of "thinking"...

Just my two cents, course I'm writing this on a ATOM netbook off-grid. I already went down the rabbit hole and not expecting many to follow.

sorry no, i dont follow hypocrites. you flaunt your off the gridness at the same time telling us your using a device that requires massive industrial output to produce, and yet use that as another example of your ECO goodness?

please, you want to go off the grid, enjoy, but dont at the same time show disdain for the technologies that require massive power and infrastructure for you to do that.

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