Originally Posted by Stormer
I'm sorry but this makes no sense. It says wind and solar need standby back up because it is not always sunny and windy, but because the standby power is then underutilized, you have to attribute all the cost of the idle standby power (usually fossil fuels) to the standby plants and none to the renewables. That is interesting logic.
The article treats fossil fuel plants as the old power source being replaced, not as "idle standby power."
"It is not always sunny and windy", at any one spot. But with wind and solar farms scattered over large areas connected to a grid, the power they produce is much more steady and predictable.
Yes, you'd want some "idle standby power", but no more than now. Manitoba is powered by hydro with a bit of wind, but we still have a coal plant for emergency use only. Cheap solar/wind means that at worst standby power costs what it always did, but primary power gets cheaper.
Manitoba and Wisconsin are building a new hydro line connection. Wisconsin has large wind farms. What the wind is strong, it will send power to Manitoba. Manitoba reduces the flow through the dams up north, storing more water behind them. When the wind dies down, Manitoba increases the flow through the dams and sends power to Wisconsin.