The 'duck curve' is solar energy's Why Japan has so many vending machines 9 months ago   03:58

Renewables require change in the energy supply chain.

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Electricity is incredibly difficult to store, so grid operators have to generate it at the exact moment it is demanded. In order to do this, they create incredibly accurate models of the total electric loads, that is how much energy will be consumed on a given day. But as utilities started to produce more energy from renewable sources like solar, the models started to shift as well.

California researchers discovered a peculiarity in their state’s electric load curves, that started to look more and more like a duck. And that duck shaped chart highlights the greatest challenge to solar energy growth in the US.

Vox writer David Roberts has been covering the issue for a few years now. You can read some of his past explainers on the duck curve, and its solutions at the links below:

And if you would like to read some of the source material used in the video above, you can check those out here: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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Comments 5521 Comments

Frank Cooke
It's like... we're letting all of that energy we get from the sun just REFLECT BACK OUT IN TO SPACE. If only we had some way of ABSORBING MORE OF THE SUN'S ENERGY THAT ENTERS OUR ATMOSPHERE. You know, like some kind of GREENHOUSE.
Answer: PowerWall
Ken The Solar Guy
Since the average nationally of solar customers also on the grid is at or below 2%, the idea that the demand rates change as drastically as described is rendered ridiculous.
Tom Vooght
Use hydro store batteries then. Look at Norway, they do it, even the UK does. How does it work? Pump water up to reservoirs using surplus power, when the energy demand hits, the water is released through a system of turbines, using gravity to generate power. It's a really simple idea.
sbuh ntshali
This video is proudly brought to you by Nuclear + Coal experts. It is their last kick of the dying industry.
The problem is solved easily by using hydro electric. Use peak solar to pump water uphill & release it at evening during demand.
Why do we need complicated chemistry in batteries 😕
Isn't the whole point of solar power to get rid of coal plants?
Từ Duy Ngọ
considering the Tesla battery is doing good job in South Australia for problem like this and was not mentioned, pretty sure some big oil sponsored this vid.
Gage Leighton
That's it? I guess they can make an informed enough decision that we should do something but no suggestions on what to do... 🤔
Phillilp R
Grid Management needs to invest in Bigger, Better MegaWatt Battery Storage System to level out the Duck Curve...
Athaariq Ardiansyah
Soldier 1: DUCK!
Soldier 2: duck?!
**Boom.. *headshot*
Fauzi Rahman
If somehow most of the countries of the world can agree to regulate power together, is it possible to somewhat flatten the graph by distributing the power around the clock? I.e. supply and demand around the clock as the world spin on the axis?
Lambda Frog
Air liquification
Jon Hansrote
It's only considered waste because the company can't make a profit off of it.
Why don’t they just pump the water back up in daims with electrical pumps?
Alberto Portugal
Does not Tesla have powerwalls for this kind of stuff. Move on!
D Moore
Gas turbines have quick (relatively) start / stop characteristics ... but keep looking for better storage methods
Brady Eversole
Then fix the damn problem we cant keep running off of fossil fuels it ruinig our world
Symbolic Acts
I like duck
Ricardo Blanco
Sounds like coal companies are being salty over electric plants.
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Why Japan has so many vending machines The 'duck curve' is solar energy's 9 months ago   04:47

What vending machines can teach you about this country

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While in Japan I noticed vending machines everywhere. Looking into it a little deeper a discovered that there's a very interesting answer to why Japan has so many vending machines. It's an economic story but it's also a story about how Japanese society values robotics and automation.

I even found a business card vending machine:

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