Courtesy of Jo Nova.
Each year as more solar power arrives when we don’t need it in the middle of the day, the belly of the load curve swings lower and lower. Then as the sun fades and the peak need of the day arrives after dark the demand ramps up, and so must the supply. This peak is the ducks head. The neck of the duck is when generators must ramp up steeply to take over from the failing sun. It’s often when prices spike.
See the picture.
The Californian Duck Curve keeps getting fatter as more solar power arrives at noon. (Courtesy of CAISO)
The tail of the duck is the secondary peak at breakfast. The belly of the duck is noon, when otherwise profitable cheap baseload electricity infrastructure sits around and burns cash. The middle of the day is “theoretically cheap” but the rest of the day gets more expensive.
If we add more storage, we just toss more money in the pit in an attempt to flatten a curve that we created in the quest for greener electrons.