“The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between American And Out Energy Future”

"The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future"

What if the electricity generated by solar systems has to be wasted because the grid is not able to integrate it properly? This is unfortunately the case.

An example: Every eighth house in Hawaii has solar panels on its roof. Together they produce more energy the state needs on sunny days. However, this power is currently being wasted. Dave Davies of npr spoke with Gretchen Bakke about her new book “The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans And Our Energy Future” and her criticism and concerns about the possibilities of the current power grid.

Is the American power grid unsuitable for renewable energy sources?

Bakke criticizes that the USA, with its current electricity network, has no chance of achieving the targets for renewable power. Therefore, it would be a great advantage if the power was stored in batteries. There are currently no solutions that do justice to the quantity. However, solutions are already being worked on. Bakke reports about the so-called Sisyphus train in Utah. The idea is that this very heavy training will be transported up a mountain during the day by electricity – especially solar power. After sunset, it rolls it down again to generate electricity.

How to store solar energy

Just like it happens when you “store” energy. Because one cannot really store energy, instead it is used to initiate a process which then produces electricity in reverse. In addition to the step that each individual can take by switching to renewable energies, such as their own solar system, the entire electricity network must also be worked on and solutions for storing the energy need to be integrated. The problem is nothing new, for years there have been reports about wasted solar and wind energy. It is time to finally upgrade the grids and implement alternative solutions.