• Wind, solar share some problems
    March 14,2013
     

    A criticism of wind power seems to be that it is intermittent and thus cannot be used as a base load. Because of this intermittent behavior it is also claimed that a continuously running backup power system must be kept on line, thereby using additional energy.

    It is rarely pointed out that these same problems exist for solar; in fact they may cause bigger problems:

    1. The sun does not shine at night, thus depending on the time of year there would by anywhere from about nine to 15 hours of darkness at the latitude of Vermont (wind may blow any time during the day or night).

    2. Even during daylight a passing cloud will quickly drop the power of the solar panels.

    3. Especially during winter, many days may pass with an overcast greatly reducing the amount of available light.

    The above similarities should be kept in mind when discussing wind energy.

    Ronald Krauth

    Middlesex

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