Energy Intermittency  book cover
1st Edition

Energy Intermittency

ISBN 9781138374690
Published September 18, 2018 by CRC Press
275 Pages 168 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The first book to consider intermittency as a key point of an energy system, Energy Intermittency describes different levels of variability for traditional and renewable energy sources, presenting detailed solutions for handling energy intermittency through trade, collaboration, demand management, and active energy storage. Addressing energy supply intermittency systematically, this practical text:

  • Analyzes typical time-distributions and intervals between episodes of demand-supply mismatch and explores their dependence on system layouts and energy source characteristics
  • Simulates scenarios regarding resource time-flow, energy conversion devices, and demand structure to assist in evaluating the technical viability of the proposed solutions
  • Discusses the conditions for establishing such systems in terms of economic requirements and regulatory measures

In one concise and convenient volume, Energy Intermittency provides a comprehensive overview of all the causes and remedies of energy supply intermittency.

Table of Contents

Other Books by the Author


About the Author


Intermittency Dependence on Type of Energy System

Timescales Relevant for the Intermittency of Individual Energy Sources

Using Case Studies to Explore the Options

A North American Reference Study

Contiguous United States

High-Demand Alternative Scenario for the Contiguous United States


Alaska and Greenland


Mexico with Doubled Electricity Demand

Part I: Cooperation across Areas and Regions

Power-Line Interchange

Present Use of Grid Interconnections and Near-Term Expectations

Impacts Associated with Limited Transfer Capacity

Advanced Use of Power Exchange for Handling Intermittency

A High-Transmission Scenario for North America

Pipeline Interchange

Other Trade Options

Part II: Energy Storage

System-Integrated Storage

Storage in Dedicated Facilities

Storage of Low-Quality Energy

Storage of High-Quality Energy

Decentralized Storage

Part III: Managing Load Matching

Load Management

Using Grids to Transmit Information

Part IV: Transitions and Cost

Systemic Transitions

A Japanese Renewable Energy Future

A Korean Renewable Energy Future

A Chinese Renewable Energy Future


Final Remarks


Units and Conversion Factors


*References are included in each chapter.

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Bent Sørensen is professor emeritus at Roskilde University, Denmark. He previously held academic positions at the Universities of New South Wales (Australia), Grenoble (France), Kyoto (Japan), Copenhagen (Denmark), Yale (Connecticut), and Berkeley (California), and at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Colorado). He has been technical director of Denmark’s largest engineering firm, served as advisor for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and several government and UN agencies, and was a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second Assessment Report. He is the recipient of several awards and honours, including the European Solar Prize.


"Traditional energy people use the word 'intermittency' as an epithet, a drawback that fatally compromises energy innovation. Professor Sorensen shows, with many persuasive examples, that intermittency is actually characteristic of how we use energy. He demonstrates that practical measures to address intermittency may be a crucial aspect of our transition to a more stable, reliable global energy system."
—Walt Patterson, Chatham House, London, UK

"[This book is] unique in the sense that intermittency has (to my knowledge) not earlier been the central issue of a book. It has rather been treated sporadically as one of many issues related to renewable energy, but not gotten the in-depth treatment that it deserves. … [This book is] appropriate, useful, and valuable for research and education within the ‘new’ energy technologies. It covers a relatively unexplored area between several disciplines and that could make it interesting to a broad audience."
—Claus Nygaard Rasmussen, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby

"If we are to move to a sustainable energy future, then we will need to find ways to balance variable renewable supplies and variable demand. This book provides a straightforward guide to the technical options, along with some breathtaking and original case studies on how China, Korea, and Japan might meet their energy needs using renewable energy sources. ... With admirable clarity, this book shows how intermittency can be dealt with by a mix of system management techniques, energy storage, and energy trading arrangements. ... This on its own is a very timely contribution to the energy debate, but the book goes further and develops a series of original case studies on sustainable energy plans for...countries which might otherwise be trapped in fossil and nuclear fuel-based futures."
—David Elliott, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

"This is...the first book to consider intermittency as a basic point of an energy system. [Also] highlighted in the book is population density—a parameter often missed in texts concerning energy policy. ... The author does not limit his analysis of intermittency to energy storage. He integrates energy storage with interconnections among different countries and with energy demand management. ... The perspective is [to use] a mix...dependent on the specific situation in terms of the kind and amount of energy sources available, of per-capita energy demand, and of population density. To this concern, some countries are analyzed in detail with interesting conclusions."
—Giuseppe Spazzafumo, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Italy