Don Gale: Solar power will not solve our energy problems

And at night or when snow, rain or clouds blot out the sun, the house or company relies on that same grid to deliver electricity from windmills, or from rushing water, or from natural-gas-fired turbines, or even from coal-fired generators. If not, then, like the toy panda, the house or business would stop “swinging.” And because you can’t turn large generators on and off like a light bulb; generator turbines must operate continuously; the electricity output may be reduced, but the gas or coal fires keep burning. The magic of the electric grid is that it sends power where power is needed without caring where the power originates and without shutting down power generators.