We now have the technology to create a grid of cheap fully renewable electricity. Many studies demonstrate that fully renewable electric grids are feasible in the United States, Europe, Australia and elsewhere. Models show that the United States does not need nuclear energy to retire fossil fuels. Studies show that running an electric grid with variable renewable energy will include not using, or dumping, some energy at times, a strategy that reduces cost compared to always storing surplus energy. Still, some form of electricity storage is needed. Batteries work well for smoothing short-term fluctuations, but for storing energy for many hours or days, pumped hydroelectric storage is less expensive. Pumped hydro uses any extra energy in the grid to pump water uphill, and when energy is needed, the water runs back down to generate power in a turbine. The United States has some existing examples and many feasible locations. With grid expansion, storage may be located at a distance from users.
Market Watch 27th Aug 2019 read more »
US and European researchers have shown the way to an era of cheap and plentiful renewable energy on a massive scale. Canadian scientists have worked out how to extract pure, non-polluting fuel from spent or unexploited oil wells at a fraction of the cost of gasoline. And British and Danish scholars have worked out that, in principle, Europe could generate enough onshore wind energy to supply the whole world until 2050. Neither technology is likely to be exploited on a massive scale in the very near future. Wind energy development depends on national and local decisions, and the new study is a simple atlas of possible sites across the entire continent. And although hydrogen is already driving trains, cars and buses in many nations, the technology is still essentially experimental and the infrastructure for a hydrogen economy has still to be built. But both are instances of the sustained ingenuity and imagination at work in research laboratories and institutions as scientists confront the challenge of a world no longer dependent on the fossil fuels that drive global heating and the climate emergency. The technology that can take hydrogen straight from existing oil reserves was presented at an international geochemistry conference in Barcelona and depends on university-patented technology now being developed by a scientific start-up.
Climate News Network 29th Aug 2019 read more »