WILLIAM MANESS ON WHY ALTERNATIVE ENERGY AND POWER GRIDS AREN’T GOOD PLAYMATES AND HIS PLANS FOR BEAMING SOLAR POWER FROM SPACE. in Seed Magazine
Seed: What makes it superior to other forms of alternative energy?
WM: The way power is actually generated and handled in the world involves something called “dispatchable” power. Alternative energy is generally intermittent, and thus not dispatchable. Dispatchable means a utility can make a contract with someone that says, “On December 21st of 2011, I want you to carry 1,000 megawatts of my load for six hours.” So they make a financial contract, and these things are traded back and forth. This economic system behind [power generation] is the cornerstone of what keeps our lights on.