[ExI] Wind, solar could provide 99.9% of ALL POWER by 2030

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Dec 15 09:56:55 UTC 2012

Wind, solar could provide 99.9% of ALL POWER by 2030
Even better: It could do so at the same cost as fossil fuels

By Rik Myslewski in San Francisco
Posted in Science, 15th December 2012 01:51 GMT

A group of researchers has released a study that claims to shoot down
the common perception that clean, renewable energy from wind and solar
sources is all well and good, eco-wise, but that it's too uncertain,
sporadic, and pricey for widespread use.

"These results break the conventional wisdom that renewable energy is
too unreliable and expensive," said professor Willett Kempton of the
University of Delaware in a statement. "The key is to get the right
combination of electricity sources and storage – which we did by an
exhaustive search – and to calculate costs correctly.”


Cost was central to the team's work. With this in mind, one of the
things that they discovered is that it's cheaper to crank out more
juice than needed during hours of average need – as much as three
times as much – than it is to store all the extra energy for later
use. Those batteries and fuel cells ain't cheap.

One of the key elements in their plan would be to have a widespread
geographical distribution of such intermittent sources as wind farms
and photovoltaic installations – when it's windy and sunny in one
location on the grid, it could be calm and overcast in another and all
parts of the grid would have enough power.

Another aspect of their plan is to use some of that extra renewable
capacity, when it's available and when storage capacity is full, to
substitute for natural gas for home and business heating.

Sounds good to me.


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