Power Grid

The grid is the dynamic web of electricity production, transmission, storage, and consumption that 85 percent of the world relies on. It was designed for constant, centralized power production, not for the variability of solar and wind power.

As a first step I have generated a list of the most relevant go-to options we have. For now I will strictly focus on The Netherlands. As a general guidance I will use the book 'Drawdown - The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to roll back global warming' by Paul Hawken.

 

Together with experts in the field I am going to challenge this list. It is therefore an ongoing framework. You will find all the updates below, specified for each specific solution we can opt for.

01. Grid Flexibility

Drawdown: 'For electricity supply to become predominantly or entirely renewable, the grid needs to become more flexible and adaptable than it is today. Many technologies contribute to grid flexibility:

  • Constant renewables, such as geothermal;

  • Utility-scale storage, such as pumped hydro and molten salt;

  • Small-scale storage, such as batteries; and

  • Demand-response tools, such as smart thermostats and smart appliances, to mediate peaks in demand.

 

Flexibility also depends on strong transmission and distribution networks—the connective tissue between generation and consumption. Where the grid spans larger geographies and more electricity sources, it can essentially even out the total output of renewables, reducing extremes in variability.'

02. Microgrids

Drawdown: 'The “macro” grid is a massive electrical network of energy sources. It connects utilities, large fossil-fuel plants, small fossil-fuel plants used to meet peaks in demand, and 24-7 control centers monitoring supply. This centralized setup hinders society’s transition from dirty energy produced in a few places to clean energy produced everywhere.

Enter microgrids. A microgrid is a localized grouping of distributed energy sources, like solar, wind, in-stream hydro, and biomass, together with energy storage or backup generation and load management tools. This system can operate as a stand-alone entity or its users can plug into the larger grid as needed.'