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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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RE: Solutions to a created problem
By tng on 11/17/2010 1:46:20 PM , Rating: 2
However the name sounds, the description that it implies does fit.

I have seen those same people wipe out family farms because of rodents, fish and plants. People who had farmed the same land for 100 years alongside said endangered species and had no impact on the population of them, yet as soon as the Eco Nazis got involved were basically put out of business.

Call them what you will but Nazi is a fitting term. Probably should look at your life and find ways to protect yourself from them. It is only a matter of time until they get legislation passed that will impact you.

RE: Solutions to a created problem
By foolsgambit11 on 11/17/2010 9:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
There are militant environmentalists that may deserve a term like eco-Nazis - ELF, for instance. Although eco-terrorists is a more appropriate nomenclature. However, they aren't the environmentalists who are actually effecting change in our resource management plans. Those environmentalists do not deserve the term eco-Nazis, because their platform isn't analogous to the Nazi platform. Long term stewardship and preservation of our natural resources, including through government intervention, might deserve a term like eco-Socialist, but not eco-National-Socialist. The mainstream environmentalist movement wants to preserve biodiversity, but doesn't want to exterminate humans to achieve it. They want the whole world to work together to preserve our environment, but they aren't going to invade Poland to enforce cap-and-trade legislation. Okay, maybe they want to indoctrinate our children with their ideals, but everybody wants to indoctrinate our children with their own ideals, so that isn't a trait unique to the Nazis. Some of them are vegetarians, and Hitler was a vegetarian, but it's a logical fallacy to call them Nazis because of that - or are recovering alcoholics Nazis because Hitler didn't drink?

I come from the land of the Spotted Owl, from a community with a large logging economy, so I know the economic impacts of the environmental platform. But that doesn't make them Nazis, either. Or would you call prohibitionists Nazis because they put people who owned bars and distilleries out of business?

RE: Solutions to a created problem
By tng on 11/18/2010 9:23:35 AM , Rating: 2
If you come from the land of Spotted Owls, it sounds like I grew up just South of you.

Several years ago I watched at least a dozen family farms go out of business because of a fish. The whole thing was pushed by the Sierra Club and most of those farms were bought by them. After that the banks who funded those farms in trouble (because of the fish) got wise and decided that the farms in trouble could have as much time as they liked to pay back loans and even forgave some of the loans. They wanted active customers, not land that just sat doing nothing.

RE: Solutions to a created problem
By Redwin on 11/18/2010 9:37:10 AM , Rating: 2
yes, because forcing a family off its farm to preserve the environment is 100% analogous to systematically exterminating 7 million innocent people in gas chambers.

I'm sorry, but
Only the Nazis were Nazis


RE: Solutions to a created problem
By tng on 11/18/2010 12:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
yes, because forcing a family off its farm to preserve the environment is 100% analogous to systematically exterminating 7 million innocent people in gas chambers.
To preserve the environment? The farms had been there 100 years and there were no environmental disasters, extinctions during that time. What you don't realize is it is not the fish or the rodent or the plant that is the target. The people are the target.

Left unchecked, yes, they will be the same as the Nazis. Maybe I am being extreme here but did you realize that the CO2 that you exhale is a toxic gas as determined by the EPA? Scoff at it if you must, but that gives our government ultimate power over you and me.

Can you imagine a world where someone tells you that you and your wife cant have a second child because of the CO2 that the child would produce? You and your family have to move to high rise housing in a crowded urban area because you live to far from your job and your house size exceeds the allowable limit for your family?

Sounds like I am nuts? Maybe, but there are groups out there that are planning long term for just such things (read the Sierra Club, WWF) and the changing the designation of CO2 to a toxic gas was just the first step.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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