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Unintended Consequences

Updated: Feb 26

Solar and wind are the least expensive methods of producing power. Bloomberg reported that it is 30% cheaper to build a new solar or wind farm than it is to operate an existing coal fired power plant. You can see why renewables are growing so quickly. 

Unfortunately, renewables are unpredictable, which is a real inconvenience if you want power on demand.

Energy storage like batteries is the key to efficiently using renewables while maintaining a stable electrical grid. Batteries are a prime source of storage and their use is expanding. 

So much so that, according to Reuters, it’s not economical to build a natural gas plant. It makes me worry that we won’t have enough backup capacity to maintain the reliability we have grown to expect. 

I’m a huge proponent of renewables, however we have to be careful that we don’t, to use an American Football saying, outkick our coverage. If we overbuild with renewables without including energy storage, we risk the ability to create enough power when we need it. We either have to build enough storage capacity or maintain the demand plant, which will likely be fueled by natural gas. Click here for a LinkedIn post on the subject with plenty of comments.

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