Solar power’s greatest challenge was discovered 10 years ago. It looks like a duck.

By David Roberts | Vox Media Link to article

A researcher discusses the “duck curve” he helped discover.

Back in 2008, a group of researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) noticed a funny-looking shape in their modeling.

They were starting to take solar photovoltaic (PV) panels seriously, running projections of what might happen if PV were deployed at scale. They noticed that large-scale deployment had a peculiar effect on the electricity “load curve,” the shape that electricity demand takes throughout the day.

A typical load curve looks something like this:

electric load curveEIA

As you can see, demand spikes in the morning (when everyone wakes up) and again in the evening (when everyone gets home from work), before declining at night.

(Link to article)