What is curtailment? An electricity market expert explains

By Renewable Energy World Theodore J. Kury, University of Florida

Curtailment has a special meaning in electric power systems. It describes any action that reduces the amount of electricity generated to maintain the balance between supply and demand – which is critical for avoiding blackouts.

Recently, curtailment has made news in states like California and Texas that are adding a lot of wind and solar power. On very windy or sunny days, these sources may produce more electricity than the grid can take. So grid managers reduce production to manage that oversupply.

This can be a lost opportunity. Electricity from solar and wind, as well as existing

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