Academics and the Grid Part 3: Visionaries and Problem Solvers – Watts Up With That? (

How might one seek to turn the economic and reliable grid into a costly, complicated system prone to blackouts? Discarding dependable generators and replacing with asynchronous intermittent technology would be a good way



Posted by Boyd Carter

RANK: Senator

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  1. Quoting from the article:

    “Designing large complex systems is fraught with challenges. There can be huge gaps between what works on paper and what works in practice. A couple energy projects stand out for having “green hopes” being dashed by reality. The Kemper plant was to be a flagship project for clean coal. It was a key component of President Obamas Climate Plan. Initially it was supposed to cost $3 billion, it ended up costing over $7 billion. It was supposed to gasify coal and store the captured carbon but that component of the plant proved unworkable and it cannot use coal or capture carbon. Now it functions as a 582 MW natural gas plant that could have been built for less than one tenth of the $7 billion in cost.”

  2. Quoting from the article:

    “This is the third installment in a series concerning academics and the grid. Part 1 observed that it was frequently the case that an academic paper which solved some component of a problem integrating a” green” resource would be interpreted to imply that all problems associated with integrating that “green” resource had been solved. Part 2 looked at the large body of papers published on the net zero transition and noted most of the attention was on smaller components, while the larger problems associated with the grid were ignored. This body of research as a whole generate serious misimpressions by distracting from the major concerns and causing policy makers to discount the significant challenges ahead in increasing renewable penetration.”

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