The Role of Distributed Generation in the UK Blackout of 9 August 2019

Power grids are usually designed with some overcapacity which is here in order to smoothe out all possible and probable eventualities that go wrong. Things go wrong all the time. Small things every day, every hour, big things every so often. When you design your overcapacity one must establish what kind of risk they want to cover with that. More capacity means more cost, lower likelihood means less incentive to provide for it. This means that no electrical system is entirely foolproof. That would be excessive. But when the overcapacity that is here to protect us from unlucky events is used to iron out flicker electricity, it’s not available anymore to do what it is supposed to do. iron out the wrinkles. And when such a wrinkle hits us, we are naked. Renewable energy has made our electrical systems brittle again. Because renewables refused to pay for the capacity they needed in order to function. What’s a subsidy again?

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