cartoon duck

“The duck curve presents two challenges related to increasing solar energy adoption. The first challenge is grid stress. The extreme swing in demand for electricity from conventional power plants from midday to late evenings, when energy demand is still high but solar generation has dropped off, means that conventional power plants (such as natural gas-fired plants) must quickly ramp up electricity production to meet consumer demand. That rapid ramp up makes it more difficult for grid operators to match grid supply (the power they are generating) with grid demand in real time. In addition, if more solar power is produced than the grid can use, operators might have to curtail solar power to prevent overgeneration.”

“The other challenge is economic. The dynamics of the duck curve can challenge the traditional economics of dispatchable power plants because the factors contributing to the curve reduce the amount of time a conventional power plant operates, which results in reduced energy revenues. If the reduced revenues make the plants uneconomical to maintain, the plants may retire without a dispatchable replacement. Less dispatchable electricity makes it harder for grid managers to balance electricity supply and demand in a system with wide swings in net demand.”

This is not limited to California but is now occurring in Texas (and will continue to grow across the country). The implications are dire.

  1. Increase probability of capacity related outages
  2. Extremely high price volatility.
  3. Increase in average electricity prices.
  4. Lower capital returns on all forms of energy generation.

To learn more how to protect your business from the duck curve and its related outages, please visit our website: