We have debated so-called green energy in many threads. Perhaps we can consolidate some discussions here. I will kick off the discussion with this ominous article:
In 2020, Germany’s clean energy sources ratcheted their coverage of [power consumption]nearly equaling that of coal, gas, oil, and nuclear power combined.
With so much renewable energy in the system, the conventional energy sector has long warned about energy blackouts in ominous tones.
The Germans’ feat was possible, however, only because the country has…maintained much of its fossil fuel generation and a handful of nuclear plants. When there’s surplus power, it’s exported—at a handsome profit for coal-plant-owning utilities.
This whole calculation is changing dramatically, however, as Germany moves to shutter its coal-fired plants … and nuclear power stations (which will be disconnected from the grid in 2022).
While utility power storage options, such as batteries, are quickly improving, batteries still lack the capacity to bottle up enough clean power for Germany to hold out even for a couple of fossil-free hours, much less days.
This drop-off is steep and fast, and it throws the Germany energy system into unknown territory—where the interests of energy providers, environmentalists, politicians, and grid operators clash fiercely.
The article gives 3 options. The scariest is typical German: You vill not flip on the power switch until we tell you that you can.
“In short,” Couture said, “what we need to do is flip the previous paradigm on its head used to build power plants to meet demand. Now we need to intentionally shape our electricity demand so that it is better adapted to our supply: variable, renewable, and abundant.”