Articles, Blog

The Problem With Renewable Energy (and how we’re fixing it)

February 12, 2020


For a few hours in May 2016, for the first
time in more than a century, Britain was burning zero coal to generate
electricity. None at all. All the coal-fired power plants
were turned off. And this here is one of the reasons why. Welcome to the Griffin Wind Farm in Scotland. 68 turbines, more than 150 megawatts of capacity. And the turbines rotate and trim the blades
to track the wind in real time. At full output, this can power entire cities
just from the wind. But as the world moves to renewable energy, we’ve got a little bit of a problem. Because coal, oil, gas, and nuclear stations
are basically just giant boilers. They take water, they heat it up,
that turns to steam, the steam gets forced through a massive turbine
which rotates and generates power. When I say turbine, I don’t mean like the
blades here, I mean hundreds of tonnes of steel rotating
thousands of times a minute. And all those turbines, all around the grid, rotate in sync with each other. After gearing, they all move at
50 cycles a second. 60 in America. All perfectly in time: one slows down, they
all slow down. One speeds up, they all speed up. And that is what stops your lights
from constantly flickering. Because electricity supply has to always match
demand, pretty much exactly. There isn’t a battery in the world big enough
to store power on a national scale. So if a power station suddenly falls off the
grid for some reason, then where’s that supply going to come from? And the answer is the kinetic energy that’s
already in those turbines, in that spinning thousands of tonnes of steel
around the country. Homes and factories will literally suck the
kinetic energy out of that turbine to cover the gap, starting to slow it down. But that won’t cause a problem
for 60 seconds or so, and in that time the National Grid
Control Centre will, I don’t know, throw another nuclear rod on the barbie and up the power output from other stations.
They’ll cover the demand. But, well, that relies on
having enough rotational mass, enough system inertia, as it’s called. And here, in this turbine? Well, you can see. There’s no hundreds of tonnes
of spinning steel, just some blades, a bit of metal, and some circuitry that feeds the power into
the grid at the right frequency. If the whole grid were running on
just wind and solar, there’s no rotational mass.
There’s no grid stability. The minute that supply and demand mismatch,
breakers would trip, and the whole thing would fall apart. Now there are some
possible solutions to this. Pumped hydro storage
has been around for a while, which is where you have two lakes
at different heights. When you’ve got too much power,
you pump water up, and when you’ve got not enough, you drop
it back down again through generators. But that takes seconds or minutes
to kick in. There’s also some experiments going on with
things like molten glass storage, compressed air storage, and flywheels, but they’re all experimental at the minute
and not particularly efficient. The actual solution may come from somewhere
a little unexpected. Because yes, wind is replacing coal and oil, but it’s also replacing petrol, the gasoline
that you put in your car. And as more and more and electric cars
get connected to the grid, well, you’ve got a load of quite large batteries
with computers. Your car could sell power
back to the grid in real-time, second by second, as it’s needed. Combine that with smart appliances and meters
that can watch the grid and work out when would be the best time to
turn on your air-conditioning and fridge is, and you have a grid that does
a lot of the balancing itself. Yes, we will probably always need a
turbine somewhere, some big spinning mass of steel to cover
the little glitches second to second, but the solution to balancing a power grid
is not what we thought it was 20 years ago. It’s not big, monolithic batteries. It’s millions of small ones
up and down the country. Thank you very much to all the team from SSE who have helped get me, and my team,
up on top of this wind turbine. I am incredibly grateful. They have gone above and beyond to help out,
so please, have a look at the links in the description
for more about them, and about the Griffin Wind Farm. [Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]

100 Comments

  • Reply Tom Scott July 1, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    There's a minor correction to this video: I say that turbines spin thousands of times "per second" when it should be "per minute". Apologies. You can find all corrections on this channel at https://www.tomscott.com/corrections/

  • Reply stuart hulse July 23, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    My local Wind turbine industrial estate has failed to generate any electricity since it was erected but the company involved still collected the subsidies, much to the dismay of the local villagers who have the joy of looking out of their front windows at monsters and they have not been compensated for their loss.

  • Reply Kisen Liang July 30, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Should smash this video to those gnd supporters.

    Before we shoot them dead.

  • Reply john williams July 30, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Where are all the materials going to come from to make hundreds of millions of car batteries and what is the environmental impact of mining all of the materials we use to make these batteries, like lithium mining?

  • Reply JAMP0T1 August 3, 2019 at 1:05 am

    I hate the idea that I might plug my car in (still think this is an unrealistic expectation I know plenty of people who can’t park their car outside their house for whatever reason so the whole idea of plugging it in is bollocks anyway) but I hate to think I’d plug my car in to charge, probably through some special high tax socket and then have the government take it back from me potentially just when I need it for likely a really poor amount of money …

  • Reply zMaestro August 3, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    That looks like the same place as in fh4 hmmm…

  • Reply TheCrusaderRabbits August 3, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Only an idiot believes in renewables only.

  • Reply TheCrusaderRabbits August 3, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Cars selling power back to the grid? Not within 50 years.

  • Reply tripline August 4, 2019 at 5:18 am

    "Throw another nuclear rod on the barbie"

    Citation Needed boys where ya at?

  • Reply Luda Kapkina August 4, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    it is better, when the country has a combination of energy!

  • Reply nisse hult August 7, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    The windpower must be stopped, its damaging environment and leads to higher co2 outlets because you need backup with coal and gas.

  • Reply thevso August 9, 2019 at 7:41 am

    I think another problem with renewables may be that they require an entire underlying fossil fuel infrastructure to exist. Not to mention the global growth-based economy. Silly humans.

  • Reply James Stallard August 10, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Just send the nuclear waste into space

  • Reply Daniel Drago August 12, 2019 at 4:18 am

    Those windmill blades look small hehe

  • Reply Yung Stallion August 12, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Oi Steve, throw another nuclear rod on the barby

    Ye can do mate

  • Reply Todd no last name August 13, 2019 at 9:14 am

    I was thinking building satellites outside of orbit, that are massive arrays of solar panels, and then they shoot the energy they collected to receiving stations. The stations would have to be in the middle of the oceans, miles from any flight lanes.

  • Reply John P August 14, 2019 at 6:02 am

    Too much control, too much monitoring with smart grids. In an age where our information security has been violated by those we should be able to trust, its maybe not the "smartest " idea to give the government morw control.

  • Reply Nick Kent August 14, 2019 at 6:38 am

    It hurts my brain that a linguist said "burning zero coal"

    I know people use "zero" and "no" interchangeably, but "zero" is a number… it's "zero pounds of coal" or "zero grams of coal" or something like that. If you can't have "three coal" then you can't have "zero coal."

    Don't worry, I still liked the video, because it IS awesome… I just have to express that irksome pedantry.

    You're welcome <3

  • Reply Ice. Man August 15, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Let’s get back to coal.

  • Reply Ice. Man August 15, 2019 at 9:27 am

    These wind farm are polluting the landscape just like plastic pollutes the sea.

  • Reply Matthew James Montgomery August 16, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Time for th nuclear age. Let's leave the age of windmills.

  • Reply flowering passions August 16, 2019 at 7:47 am

    "Britain was burning zero coal to generate electricity …" hmm.. according to IEA’s Coal Industry Advisory Board "part-loaded coal-fired plants have been able to ramp down by as much as 3 percentage points per minute " .. and "Large-scale power plants take hours to warm up to operating temperature and synchronise their turbines with the grid. "…COLUMN-To survive, coal power plants must become more flexible: Kemp

  • Reply Jeffrey Vaughan August 16, 2019 at 9:58 am

    In Australia car can't travel the distance on a charge and you have to wait hours to recharge. Not work able.

  • Reply Surfer Culture August 17, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Just like everyone else your confused by the word (renewable)

  • Reply Replevideo August 20, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    We are using virtually no coal now in 2019 because it has been replaced with gas. On two days in June there was no wind, and all it could muster well below 1% of demand. Even so no coal was used, but gas was producing more than 50%. You can watch the grid every day now and see as wind goes up, gas goes down, and vice versa.

  • Reply Kerry Knight August 21, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Cannot say that I agree that the future is car batteries.
    Tesla installed a massive mains battery in South Australia and it's the best thing to have happened for the South Aus and national grids.
    The uptake time for the battery is some fractions of a second from zero load to maximum.
    It is also solar/wind charged so costs are very small compared to coal. We don't have nuclear power in Aus….

  • Reply djhvideo August 22, 2019 at 11:40 am

    This video needs to be watched by the Smart meter "deniers" who think that smart meters are the work of the devil and that they only benefit the big power companies. Well their purpose is to help balance the grid by offering tariffs which albeit are more expensive at peak times but will be extra cheap at low demand times. The steel industry has had these tariffs for years including a near instantaneous load shedding system for electric arc furnaces.

  • Reply Mike Schnell August 22, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Yup. Big bird choppers too. Inconsistent power. Can’t pay for themselves before they are wore out. Reclamation costs are astounding. Lots of negative about free wind power.

  • Reply Martin Kaufmann August 22, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    2019: there are liquid metall batteries for large capacities in development. These units will sit between the generators and the grid. Check youtube for that matter 😁

  • Reply Ronnie Ince August 23, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Not true about no coal being used in the UK as both power stations in Northern Ireland are coal or oil sprayed coal fired .And almost half of UK electricity comes from gas fired plants -gas generates CO2.

  • Reply Gentleman G. August 26, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    How'd you get up there?

  • Reply CJTaylor 87 September 2, 2019 at 2:44 am

    You would need 8000 pumped water storage units if the uk was on 50% wind power.

  • Reply Dennis Bryan September 4, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    The vertical towers with generators on the ground seem better and don’t swat birds from the air. Chirp chirp

  • Reply Patchuchan September 5, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    A better solution than using EVs as storage and having them put power back into the grid would be to just convert excess energy into chemical fuel and sell that.

  • Reply Gary Lewis September 6, 2019 at 4:48 am

    if we need 1Gw base load power from wind then at a capacity factor of 33% and a 100% storage efficiency then 3Gw of wind power is needed so the 1Gw is supplied to the grid while 2Gw goes to storage. When the wind is not blowing 66% of the time power comes from storage to supply the grid. This means on a 3 day cycle day 1 the wind is blowing day 2 & 3 it is not. but on day 4 if the wind is not blowing then there is no power at all. If storage comes from car batteries then you do not have power to drive home or to work. meaning the size of the battery for the car needs to be a lot larger then it needs to be. So when you drive home you can not power the grid. The cost of the car would be a lot higher because of the needed extra storage. So one would be better off haveing a fixed battery storage building keep the cars light as possable. Otherwize you would have to let your car sit there supply the grid with power and have no power left to drive home.
    Car battery storage to supply the grid
    WILL NOT WORK. sorry.

  • Reply Allan Cotterill September 6, 2019 at 8:50 am

    What a load of wish-casting. All this f**cking around the issue to compensate for a feeble, unreliable, pathetic energy source that will NEVER power a modern economy…

  • Reply Richard Corns September 7, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Is that massive weight at the start of the video used as energy storage?

  • Reply Nigel Tufnel September 7, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Every MW of wind/solar is backed up by fossil fuels.

  • Reply John Buick September 8, 2019 at 5:10 am

    All those windmills are a waste of money. They don't recover their infrastructure costs before they are worn out. The only answer is Thorium Nuclear. Fusion is a pipe dream.

  • Reply Dmitrij Miedwiediev September 8, 2019 at 7:31 am

    As I can see on this video wind turbines are changing and destroying natural environment,; so many of them just to generate 150 megawatts; so much place to they need and the landscape, is lost …I hope developing nuclear power will convince more people .

  • Reply Jack Hay September 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Until you stop the stupid from voting for pricks like Trump and Johnston who don’t care about global warming, you’re wasting your time!

  • Reply ala ska September 8, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    The "GREEN" movement is the biggest scam ever. It has been made possible by Liberalism taking over schools and churning out millions of mindless drones.

  • Reply max nye September 9, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    "There's not a battery in the world big enough to store power on a national scale"
    Tom's other video: "Britain's largest battery is actually a lake"

  • Reply Martin Balber September 11, 2019 at 12:00 am

    And the grid will decide for you your energy needs. No thanks. Windmills and Solar Panels needed to drive the USA would take the entire land mass of California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. If all cars are electric, no one would get to work. Peak Demand

  • Reply Martin Balber September 11, 2019 at 12:06 am

    This video was presented by the Chinese wind farm industry. The video failed to mention a key point. They needed to say no 'coal' usage as if wind is saving GB and the world. But…."80% of the UK’s 25 million homes are powered by gas – and around a quarter of the country’s electricity is generated by gas-fired power stations. Gas plants are one of the most flexible ways to generate electricity, as they can rapidly provide power during periods of high demand."

  • Reply Rob C September 11, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Capacitor banks or a capacitor on every home?
    Maybe the new sand batteries that are in development.
    Oh and I worked on the power grid in America for close to 20 years and never new that all the turbines run at the same speed BUT i do know they don't run at a 1000 revolution per SECOND maybe a minute.

  • Reply meangreenf150 September 11, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Too bad they can't just mount massive capacitors to the windmills. Given current technology, the reserve capacity would probably be beyond lethal, and yet still be insufficient to cure voltage stability/imbalance issues.

  • Reply Greg Hassler September 12, 2019 at 4:54 am

    "The grid works right now because of massive steel turbines that act as flywheels"

    Also

    "Flywheels are experimental at the moment and not particularly efficient"

  • Reply James Taylor September 12, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Would be interesting to know how expensive it is to run these farms compared to coal/nuclear. From a dollar to power output ratio, I can't help but think it would end up costing consumers a lot more. Also, what's the repair and life of a wind turbine? How expensive are they to fix, maintain? How often do they need to be replaced? ALl of these things need to be realistically considered. It's great to have renewable energy but not at the cost of bankrupting the country.

  • Reply Norbert Fleck September 12, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    No electric car is capable of feeding back electricity into the grid. Neither the on-board charging circuit nor the charging post will allow that.

  • Reply P Cass September 15, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    If these wind turbines can power cities….why aren't they, then reducing costs to householders. Energy companies are just harnessing this power and charging the consumer more for it!

  • Reply Ronald Mitaxa September 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Regardless of what these renewable clowns claim it still remains a proven fact that renewable generation will deliver any base load requirement.

  • Reply Robert Day September 17, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    What happens when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine ????????? Where's all that power coming from especially as the demand for power is going to go up massively with all these electric cars and so on coming???? and the demise of the humble gas fired domestic boiler being done away with ,NONE OF YOU HAVE THE ANSWERS THOUGH DO YOU.!!!!
    WE STILL NEED CONVENTIONAL POWER STATIONS. most of you lot are just dreaming.

  • Reply nazir nauth September 19, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    it will be easier to put a driveshaft on that windmil and send the power to the base of the pole then connect it to the generator… this will be easier to,mount the thing and also cheaper… cheaper even for maintenance.

  • Reply Zero Fighter September 20, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Get these alternative systems working, and prove that they work, and that they're competitively priced compared to the current status quo, and people will be happy to step up to make the change. Until those conditions are met, don't expect anything to change.

  • Reply A Twinspark September 21, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Average car does circa 8,000 miles, circa 38 million cars in the UK, average watt hours per mile circa 180whm x 21 miles per day @ 180w = 3.78 kW per day or 3780 Watts, 38 million cars = 143.6 Giga Watts per day. Drax has a capacity of 6 x 660 Mega Watts = 3.9 Giga Watts per hour which equates to 95.04 Giga Watts per day. The whole of the UK could go full electric cars for the addition of 1.5 Drax power stations or with 60 (99 Mega Watt) Griffin Wind farms or 11 (539 Mega Watt) Whitelee wind farms.
    Not impossible dreams as put forward by op-posers to clean transport.

  • Reply dr rd September 23, 2019 at 1:10 am

    I got a more sustainable opinion.
    Reduce the population.
    Reduce useless consumption and you won't need as much energy.

  • Reply Adam Bennari September 24, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Wow, almost sums up my bachelor thesis!

  • Reply Dene. F. September 24, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    You are an English person, it's called petrol in England silly billy! Sigh!

  • Reply Link Hidalgogato September 24, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    just flywheel flywheel are for this its their whole thing

  • Reply Andrew Storey September 27, 2019 at 7:46 am

    It amazes me how many people in the comments section think they know about this machine but are totally wrong and how miss informs if this video is

  • Reply Angus Scott Dickins September 27, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    But the power outage across England in 2019 acknowledged as caused by wind turbine fault put the grid down for a long time. Where was the backup power then. Germany which relies on wind power has discovered that coal is the go to back up power source. If millions of electric cars are used as backup how will owners get to work when batteries are drained. The current "green renewable" technology seems to be expensive, heavily subsidised wishful thinking – but it does win electoral votes and our politicians never miss an opportunity to virtue signal.

  • Reply melting pot meme September 27, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    You ever smell a smell you haven't smelled in a long time?

  • Reply melting pot meme September 27, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Thank you internet

  • Reply Joey George September 29, 2019 at 9:19 am

    I thought those windmills were for making flour 😣

  • Reply Charles Bates September 29, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    The entire premise of renewables is absurd. They make no economic sense. CO2 is not a pollutant. It's all about controlling the behavior of populations.

  • Reply Detueftler October 1, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    The whole place was a forrest. And thats also something you didn't know!

  • Reply John Bleck October 4, 2019 at 3:34 am

    30% of the time it works all the time.

  • Reply richard bearden October 4, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    no…

  • Reply Tanner stull October 4, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Think these style of videos are great, easy 4 minute clips since our attention spam is so crap now haha

  • Reply thisisnumber0 October 5, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Electric cars powering the grid? Are you mad? Give me strength, they're struggling to achieve any kind of useful range for themselves, never mind the bloody grid.
    PS… any cure for those little problems wind turbines produce, you know, vandalism of the landscape and destruction of birds?

  • Reply basil tozer October 5, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Wind turbines are destroying the world, they are doing the opposite, of what they say. Its all a lie.

  • Reply 6 6 October 5, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Actually, the real problem is that this is not renewable by any means. It uses massive natural resources that are unsustainable even in the fantasy world in which people live.

  • Reply AJ the guy October 5, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    "The problem with renewable energy"

    The fossil/mineral fuel industry: 👁️👁️

  • Reply mic pic October 6, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    Quit screwing around with all of this crap and develop fusion.

  • Reply PM Beaham October 7, 2019 at 12:53 am

    A lot of Bull….

  • Reply Mike in MD October 8, 2019 at 1:30 am

    So, when the wind stops, it'll suck the charge out of your car. Then what? Call an uber? More likely than not, it'll be petrol powered since full time availability and on demand response is required. Imagine being at work, coming out in the dark, and you haven't got enough charge to make it home! Worse, since it is night time, all the power generated is going into homes, so you can't charge until there is surplus the next day! How silly!

    Of course, you argue, the smart car won't let itself get fully discharged. Really? Can you imagine that electric car owners don't want to take that chance, so they won't connect to charging stations while at work. But then, it wouldn't be in anyone who is alive now lifetime when we have a one for one charging stations to vehicles ratio. Did I just convince myself that this was the most disengenuos report ever told?

    Good job, by the way, for eliminating coal plants. Let's hope that doesn't cause power shortages as in other European countries and Australia. China and India will use all the coal you don't want!

  • Reply Brad Davies October 11, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Miracle turbines don't spin but produce power.

  • Reply Brad Davies October 13, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    RE sucks

  • Reply Ishari October 14, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    It's almost as if decentralization was a great idea that fixes many problems :O

  • Reply a_true_memer October 26, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Why not 69 turbines😭😭😤😤

  • Reply Brae Jordan G-CDJK October 27, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    I love the little info bubble correcting his mistakes 😂

  • Reply Plumbud October 29, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    Nuclear power best power

  • Reply Vgamer311 November 3, 2019 at 5:50 am

    Disagree. The solution is one magnum battery. It will supply power to every home on earth and never miss a beat, and it will be called THE Z BATTERY.

  • Reply Dag Ohlin November 9, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    Just use nuclear

  • Reply Antichrist November 14, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Also the ridiculously large area that needs to be cleared for renewable power.

  • Reply RRP November 16, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Why not use the solar or wind energy to heat water into steam and power a turbine like before?

  • Reply Aaron James December 2, 2019 at 8:00 am

    I was hoping this would explain how a turbine generates the actual power. 🙁
    Still a good watch.

  • Reply DiabloMinero December 13, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Or, get this, we could throw a fuckton of nuclear rods on the barbie and use the heat to spin big turbines. The wind doesn't always blow, so wind as an option always will.

  • Reply Tim Dolding December 16, 2019 at 9:35 am

    Look up Vanadium Redox Flow batteries. They can be used as balancers in the grid and don’t degrade like lithium 😁

  • Reply stuart hulse December 20, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Tom I hoped you had a good trip the Arctic and did you offset your carbon footprint as you wandered around that pristine landscape. your little bit of body heat did not help save the ice sheets. You fail in your little bout of self importance in the video in that wind can not ever be relied on even with one lump of metal spinning to help it but the lumps of spinning metal can be relied on with out wind, which is a good job as there seem to be a lot of dead turbines around or are they waiting for the right kind of wind.

  • Reply clark kent January 12, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    It is the century

  • Reply Meredith Poor January 13, 2020 at 12:46 am

    Solar power is DC, so there is no 'rotational mass' of any sort. Solar is run through inverters to make it AC. Since this is an electronic process, synchronization occurs thousands of times a second.

    Wind power turbines may be AC, but they are variable speed so they also get synced to the grid via electronics. Power is stored on a cycle by cycle basis in banks of supercapacitors. The incoming charge controller and outgoing load controller operate independently of each other.

    Battery storage is best organized as a '3-tier' system: storage at the generator farm, storage at switchgear stations, and storage at end-user-consumers, such as cars and appliances. Farm storage should be focused on leveling 'surges' – huge gusts or temporary lulls, making it possible for the rest of the grid to compensate with a 'bit of play'. Switchgear storage is basically the 'tank farm' of long term battery storage – these should be able to maintain six month reserves. These are designed to even out the longest swings, the variation between winter troughs, summer peaks, fall and spring wind surges, etc. Homes and businesses should design their storage systems to handle two week grid outages, as might happen during ice storms or hurricanes.

    When entirely renewable storage grids settle out, this is most likely how they will be configured.

  • Reply Karansinha Patil January 19, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Forza Horizon 4, y'all.

  • Reply Paul Brienza January 23, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    Isn't Australia using giant battery banks for this problem?

  • Reply Felix s January 24, 2020 at 9:55 am

    stupid one-liners….you ain't a comedian so please refrain from the bad jokes – thanks.

  • Reply followthefleet1 January 25, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Really? 150 MW of "installed capacity". with a capacity factor of 35%, that's generating a little over 50 MWs, which is a measily 4% of an average nuclear plant. Powering "whole cities"? Totally ridiculous. This guy is delusional, full of misplaced optimism; the storage problem is not close to being solved.

  • Reply Herbert Erdferkel January 28, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    The obvious solution is already given by how old powerplants uphold stability within seconds. Just build a few wind turbines or panels extra, not to feed the grid, but to feed inertia within some mass in which you tap in whenever shortterm fluctuation needs balance. done.

    Engineers not controlled by greedy owners or dreamers trying to get rich of a new patent, would probably fix it within a heartbeat by using what already works in practice. As for mid/long term energy reserves we already have power plants working with water or other storage substances. A waterpump storage plant in my city is disused and partly dismantled because burning coal or contaminating your disposal sites with radioactive waste is still far too cheap (as we still dont factor in the long term cost and damage in prices, pushing a huge bill to future generations). Just reactivating and modernizing what we already have build would give my city instant access to a huge energy storage supporting a much larger share of solar/wind energy .. its just the corrupt lobby of the fuel burning and nuclear powerplants and the ignorant citizen who are in the way, not some technical impossibility.

  • Reply Nic User February 2, 2020 at 12:57 am

    It seems like some of those giant solar towers would solve that problem.

  • Reply VassilliHD February 11, 2020 at 5:08 am

    It's all cool till one of these things catch fire and kill all the birds in a region. Give me nuclear or coal fired any day.

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