The unreliability of renewable energy for baseload demand
Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, have their benefits, and they are great sources of intermittent power; however, as contributing Forbes writer David Blackmon highlights, these renewable energy sources of electric power generation are not reliable. If the sun is not shining or if the wind is not blowing, then there must be a backup power source to avoid frequent blackouts.
Renewable energy sources are not able to supply baseload power generation – meaning they cannot supply a region’s continuous energy demand. Electric power generation must come from other sources, like natural gas – an abundant and clean source of energy.
“Natural gas-powered electric generation is the only source that can, and does, protect us against these risks of unreliable electricity,” Blackmon said. “Where it takes hours or even days to cycle coal or nuclear plants up and down, natural gas units can be fired up at will with just minutes’ notice. They can do what no weather-based system can do: be turned on. Which is why, in Texas – which leads the world in wind power capacity – you need to build offsetting natural gas power capacity for every wind turbine or solar array that gets installed.”
Read Blackmon’s full article about the benefits of natural gas for baseload electric power generation.