The Duck Curve – And What It Means For You

With the huge uptake of residential solar power here in Australia and around the world, a new phenomenon is emerging in the way electricity is generated and consumed through the grid.

And it’s called the ‘Duck Curve’.

This strange sounding occurrence is being caused by the shifting energy demands of the population. Basically, during the day we’re relying a lot less on the grid. Plenty of smart Aussies have installed solar panels, meaning they’re creating their own clean electricity.

But as the sun goes down (and much of the population returns home from work), a sudden spike in the need for grid electricity occurs. This is best illustrated in the graph below (note its duck-shape!)

the duck curve

(image courtesy of Green Tech Media)

So what does this mean for you?

A problem that’s emerging in Australia (and is already rampant in major solar-consuming states like California) is the impact that the Duck Curve is having on energy prices.

Because power plants can’t respond quickly enough to manage the sharp evening increase in usage, expensive and dirty power sources are kept idling during the day to step-in when the demand is on. Therefore, depending on your energy retailer, the cost of using electricity during peak times is growing.

Our heroes: storage and efficiency

There are a number of emerging and established technologies available to curb the impact of the Duck Curve and take your electricity savings to new heights.

Battery storage is particularly exciting and in 2016 is set to explode in Australia. We’ll be stocking solar batteries from the leading brands, all of which will enable solar panel owners to store their unused solar energy during the day for use in the evening. Marvellous! 

Aside from solar battery storage, there’s an even simpler way to beat the Duck Curve and it boils down to one word: efficiency.

Whilst we are huge advocates for producing your own clean renewable energy, it’s also just as important to simultaneously reduce your consumption to counteract the Duck Curve in power supply.

How?

Installing LED lighting and other energy saving products is the first place to start as well as learning more about load shifting – which basically involves shifting your energy-intensive activities to daylight hours.

The great news is that energy efficiency is the least expensive and probably easiest way to boost your solar power results.

If you’re wondering where to start when it comes to choosing and installing efficient products in your home, our team can help – get in touch!

Solargain