California's Solar Power is Going to Waste

Blessed with an abundance of sun, California is trying to figure out how to deal with a glut of solar energy.

1 minute read

April 15, 2017, 9:00 AM PDT

By jwilliams @jwillia22

Solar Power

Mike Flippo / Shutterstock

In 2016, enough solar generated electricity to power 45,000 homes was lost in California because there wasn't concurrent demand for it. David Danelski reports in the Daily Breeze (via the Press-Enterprise) that solar power generated during the middle of the day often will go unused because the power demand from consumers doesn't pick up until the evening. The loss in 2016 was double what was lost the year previous, and the losses could be worse in the future as the use of solar panel systems continues to increase. State officials are looking at several solutions to reduce the waste, including the use of batteries to store the energy, trading power to abutting states, and incentivizing consumers to put timers on their dishwashers, pool pumps and other home systems, to run during the hours when power is at its cheapest.

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