in·​ter·​mit·​ten·​cy | \ ˌin-tər-ˈmi-tən(t)-sē How to pronounce intermittency (audio) \

Definition of intermittency

Examples of intermittency in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wind and solar will also require storage systems to cope with intermittency. Gautam Kalghatgi, National Review, "What the U.K.’s Target of Net Zero Emissions Would Really Entail," 10 Sep. 2020 Existing power plants are favoured over new facilities, and the share of renewables is limited, on the ground that their intermittency threatens the grid’s stability. The Economist, "The reinvention of Japan’s power supply is making little headway," 21 June 2020 Because of their intermittency, wind and solar require backup from coal and gas. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Michael Moore’s Inconvenient Half-Truth," 5 June 2020 Still, Brouillette's statement is a far cry from rhetoric used by President Trump, who mocks wind and solar energy as unreliable because of their intermittency and doesn't acknowledge the need to reduce emissions to combat climate change. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Trump DOE chief suggests 100% renewable energy is possible," 27 Feb. 2020 The first is the growth in renewable energy, which creates intermittency in supply as well as occasional supply spikes that lead to curtailment (shutting wind and solar off temporarily). David Roberts, Vox, "Using electricity at different times of day could save us billions of dollars," 7 Aug. 2019 Fusion energy would eliminate the need for fossil fuels and solve the intermittency and reliability concerns inherent with renewable energy sources. Nathanial Gronewold, Scientific American, "World’s Largest Nuclear Fusion Experiment Clears Milestone," 24 July 2019 Up until now, wind and solar costs looked competitive on paper, but the intermittency problem was cited as a reason why renewables would grab only a small slice of the market, a problem that was thought to persist for years to come. Nick Cunningham, USA TODAY, "Energy costs: Renewables close in on fossil fuels, challenging on price," 4 Apr. 2018 That’s because wind and solar have problems with intermittency — that is, solar production slips when the sun doesn’t shine and electricity generated by wind wanes when breezes don’t blow. Rob Nikolewski,, "Natural gas is energy's new king — but how long will it reign? California may offer some clues," 14 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intermittency.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intermittency

1662, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for intermittency

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The first known use of intermittency was in 1662

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Last Updated

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intermittency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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