Here on this site there is a section called “Articles,” where I have posted several pieces that are longer than my typical blog post of about 1000 words. Except that I haven’t actually posted any new Articles there in several years. The reason is that I couldn’t figure out how to do it. But a couple of weeks ago I got a young consultant to give me a step by step procedure. And voilá! I have now posted a new Article. Go to the Articles section to check it out.
The subject of the new Article is the economics for a country of trying to get 100% of its electricity from the intermittent renewables, wind and solar. You will get a feel for my take on the situation from the title: “The Disastrous Economics Of Trying To Power An Electrical Grid With 100% Intermittent Renewables.” This Article is a slightly-modified version of a section of a Comment that some colleagues and I filed with the EPA with respect to some of its recent regulatory initiatives.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal chose this Saturday to attempt to tackle the same subject, covering the front page of its second section (“Exchange”) with a huge feature article headlined “Plugging In the Wind,” by a guy named Russell Gold. So does Mr. Gold of the Journal agree with me that the economics of trying to power an electrical grid with 100% intermittent renewables would be “disastrous”? Actually, the opposite. According to Gold:
For years, the wind and the sun were widely dismissed as niche sources of power that could never fill America’s vast need for energy. But now the cost of solar and wind power ha[s] fallen so much that the U.S. could substantially reduce harmful emissions while also lowering the price of electricity. . . . Renewable energy sources now provide the cheapest power in windy and sunny parts of the country.
Is there anything to that? Or is it complete pie-in-the-sky? . . .Read More