Going Solar: System Requirements For 100% U.S. Solar Generated Utility Baseload Electricity


Lot’s of letters but so very worthwhile

Watts Up With That?

By: Tom D. Tamarkin & Barrie Lawson

Over the next 50 years, utility companies in the United States must replace approximately 440 Gigawatts (GW) of baseload generation capacity to provide electricity nationwide. Significant electrification of the transportation segment through electric cars and trucks can potentially quadruple the amount of needed power.

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This paper explores the system requirements to replace this generation capacity with a photovoltaic only generation scheme. Topics include the definition of peak power demand, time of use issues, reserve power requirements, storage to provide power when there is no sunlight, and the various engineering challenges associated with managing a large area synchronous AC power grid.

This analysis considers the factors involved in dimensioning solar power generating plants. To illustrate the issues involved the example considers the case for supplying the entire electric power needs of the USA from solar energy without the use of fossil fuel, nuclear or…

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