Projections for 'renewable' energy still have no answer for intermittent nature

Fuel Fix:
A new report from the U.S. government predicts the amount of renewable energy on the electricity grid will more than double by 2040 to close to 500 gigawatts of capacity.

That presumes the Obama administration’s clean power plan, which would reduce carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent, survives a legal challenge currently pending before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

But even without the clean power plan, cost reductions in solar and wind energy, along with the extension of a tax credit for renewable energy last year, should still grow to more than 400 gigawatts over the next 24 years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is predicting continued growth in wind power until 2022, when the tax credit expires and constriction comes to a virtual halt.

“Because the most favorable wind resources are located in a few regions in the country, increased adoption of wind technology in these regions may be limited by the ability of regional grids to handle high levels of intermittent generation,” the report reads.
It is not just wind energy that is a problem.  Places that are heavily invested in solar capacity have trouble dealing with excess electricity on days that are sunny.  The swings from excess capacity to not enough have to be managed and the hoped for battery storage has not materialized.

There is also the problem that many energy uses cannot be met with alternative means.  There is no replacement for the petrochemical business which creates products for everyday life using natural gas.  Wind and solar are not an effective alternative for the production of steel and aluminum.


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