The 'duck curve' is solar energy's Why Japan has so many vending machines 7 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

eccentric pramod
This is undoubtedly the stupidest logic coming from someone like vox. I must say he's paid heavily by the petroleum mafia to make this video. Curtailment of solar energy, wow!! How cunning can one get for a couple of dollars.
sreedevi mydam
Why don’t they just store the overgenerated energy in batteries for the night
that one guy c
Renewable energy sucks change my mind
then benagcz
You can store electricity in hydrogen and produce clear O2 on the same time
Will Rogers
Basically, we need gas generation that is more flexible as a base load, and some way of storing energy.

Dinorwic in Wales, UK is a great ideal but it is only relatively small scale so far
will chris
How much did the electric companies pay you Vox for that video take your sell out and shove it.
will chris
Lol this was stupid solar is fine we can already store it for night time use in batteries granted it's very old tech in those batteries so once we have a small break through on batteries prob. From Elon solar will be in and everything else out.
Daniel West
So demand lowers and cost increases. Please explain?
So, we need a 5pm-10am curfew, got it.
Jon Iler
Why are we not talking about battery technologies in this video? As that progresses, it will solve that night time demand. All we need is storage.
Sonit Rana
Thanos is the narrator ?
Cash is King trucking
I wish I could have got that grant money to prove that solar power output peaks at midday
In my opinion, hydrogen is a great solution to this problem. It is true that the efficiency is not optimal yet but if you use excess energy to create hydrogen you can release that energy again at night or even store it for a summer-winter unbalance due to solar energy production.
alden ferrier
We need a storage system improvement or smart grid infrastructure
12 masters
bad duck.
Ismael Alves
Everything is true if it wasn't for energy storage by batteries in the future
Perhaps renewable energy works better at the micro level vs. the regional level of power grids/power plants. If the lights most people used between dusk and bedtime were battery powered, and the batteries were charged most of the time by renewable energy (solar, wind) the grid would not see the steep curve at sundown. Just sayin'
T Rev
"They found that the sun produces the most energy at midday"

Looks like we've got so real Einsteins working in this project
Answer=instead of turning off solar panel production during curtailment, leave them on and create demand by offering free public vehicle charging or reduced price vehicle charging. Problem though is that'll ultimately take money away from energy companies at night
Gert Kruger
"Greatest problem facing renewable energy", a bit of an overstatement, possibly not true.
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Why Japan has so many vending machines The 'duck curve' is solar energy's 7 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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