Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Balancing Energy* - Part 1

Electricity is many things. It’s a current, it’s a field, it’s a set fascinating physical phenomena. But more importantly, it’s also a commodity, which can be produced, traded and consumed. Just like natural gas, grain or tulips. However, unlike in the case of grain (but not really tulips), the production and consumption of electricity must happen at exactly the same time. This still tends to be true, despite recent advances in storage technologies. One can, therefore, say that supply and demand in electricity must be in perfect balance at all times. (This must be true at least within the boundaries of a well-defined geographic area, often called a “balancing zone”. Which also often coincides with the state border of European countries.) What would happen if it wasn’t? Well, the short answer to that is: that’s when you have a blackout.
(more…)