The duck curve is a graph that illustrates the changing demand for electricity during a typical day, with a sharp increase in the morning as people wake up and begin their daily routines, a peak in the late afternoon as everyone arrives home and turns on lights and appliances, and a decrease in the evening as people go to bed. The curve gets its name from the shape of the graph, which resembles the profile of a duck.
The duck curve has become increasingly relevant as more renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, are integrated into the electrical grid. These sources generate power during the day when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, but not at night or when conditions are not favorable. This can lead to an oversupply of electricity during the middle of the day, when demand is low, and a shortage of electricity in the evening, when demand is high.
To address this problem, utilities are exploring ways to store excess energy during the middle of the day and release it in the evening when demand increases. This can be done through the use of batteries, pumped hydroelectric storage, or other energy storage technologies. Additionally, utilities are also looking at ways to shift some of the electricity demand from the evening to the middle of the day, for example by encouraging people to use electric vehicles for transportation and charge them during the day when solar and wind power are abundant.
In summary, the duck curve illustrates the challenges that utilities face in balancing electricity supply and demand as more renewable energy sources are integrated into the grid. The use of energy storage and demand management strategies can help to mitigate these challenges and ensure a stable and reliable electricity supply.