Energy / Renewable Energy

100% renewable energy needs lots of storage. This Polar Vortex test showed how much.

Energy analysts used power demand data from the Midwest’s January deep freeze and wind and solar conditions to find the gaps in an all-renewable power grid.

EDINBURGH, UK— “In the depths of the deep freeze late last month, nearly every power plant in the Eastern and Central U.S. that could run was running.

Energy analysts saw a useful experiment in that week of extreme cold: What would have happened, they asked, if the power grid had relied exclusively on renewable energy—just how much battery power would have been required to keep the lights on?

Using energy production and power demand data, they showed how a 100 percent renewable energy grid, powered half by wind and half by solar, would have had significant stretches without enough wind or sun to fully power the system, meaning a large volume of energy storage would have been necessary to meet the high demand.

‘You would need a lot more batteries in a lot more places,’ said Wade Schauer, a research director for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, who co-wrote the report.”

— Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News

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