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The rise of solar power is jeopardising the Western Australia energy grid (abc.net.au)
6 points by classichasclass 4 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 2 comments

One of the looming problems as solar/wind power ramps up I don't see discussed much is the loss of system inertia. Grids rely (almost implicitly) on the fact that power comes from big, heavy spinning turbines of various kinds. The sheer weight and inertia of these turbines ends up synchronised together via the grid, and provides stability to it. But solar has no inertia and wind has only tiny turbines, so they don't contribute much either. As system inertia falls that will increase the risk of blackouts. I've seen this problem discussed amongst electrical/grid engineers but I've never seen reference to any solutions.

"The only way to manage the solar was to scale back or switch off the coal- and gas-fired power stations that were supposed to be the bedrock of the electricity system."

Well that's your problem right there, combined with the previous "antiquated regulations that acted as a barrier to investment in storage capacity, such as community or grid-scale batteries." At least from the article it sounds like they recognize the solutions needed are smart storage and better over-production management. However, I don't see any talk in the article of a seemingly simple solution: add regulation that if you want to connect your panels to the grid (feeding excess generation into it) you have to also have a sizable battery connected to the grid.

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