Power grid must adapt to handle renewable energy
Grid operators constantly match what power plants are producing with what people and their TVs, microwaves and air conditioners need. But when the electricity comes from unpredictable sources, like wind or solar power, balancing the grid is a challenge, a new study finds.
March 12, 2012
by Christopher Joyce
in National Public Radio
The National Academy of Engineering in Washington, D.C., once asked its members to pick the greatest engineering achievement ever.
Their choice? The electrification of the country through what's known as "the grid."
Ernest Moniz, director of the Energy Institute at MIT, says they were right on the money.
"That reflects what an amazing machine this is, spread out geographically, always having to balance demand and supply because electricity is not stored," he says.
Every day, with the flick of a switch, millions of Americans tap into the electricity grid. It's a web of power stations, transformers and transmission lines that span the continent, distributing... [continue via Web link]