For more than 100 years utilities have supplied electrical power to their customers and have achieved this with good reliability. The principle is simple. Loads may do as they wish, but generation — the supply — MUST be both dispatchable and monitorable. An operator must be able to start or stop a generator or to change capacity at the touch of a button to maintain a continuous balance between supply and demand. On the other hand, the loads that use the electric power can be intermittent, unmonitored and subject to starting and stopping at what the system operator would see as near random times.
Suddenly, the world is faced with a need to reduce or even eliminate emissions.