According to new research by the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College, a combination of wind power, solar and storage in batteries and fuel cells could fully power a large electric grid 99.9 percent of the time by 2030. And it could be done at costs comparable to today’s electricity expenses. Here are the details. [[snip]]
* What the researchers found is that generating more electricity than needed during average hours would be cheaper than storing excess power for later high demand.
This gets around the apparent need for storage, which is emerging as a stumbling block. The wind does not always blow, the sun, shine through a cloudless sky. So there will always be the possibility of a cloudy, still day over much of the nation. When that happens, I guess we just light up the backup, natural-gas driven generators.
The article recounts an item from the report it references, observing that in the normal course of events, capital costs for wind and solar will probably be half what they are today by 2030.