Thoughts on economics and liberty

Further compilation of problems with solar energy

In addition to the issues pointed out in my TOI blog post yesterday I’ve compiled a few other points as well:

Large and small scale solar and wind are typically very widely disperse compared to large scale baseload. Electricity networks were not set up for that, therefore it imposes large costs to upgrade the distribution network to accommodate. So instead of this cost being borne by proponents of these technologies, it is passed on to all consumers.

At a fairly low level of variable renewable penetration, the network can usually cope. But past a certain point, the impacts become far more significant and these problems can be both localised and network-wide.

In terms of batteries, beyond typical small and larger scale batteries the likes of Tesla build which have very limited capacity, hydro electricity could be used as a large-scale battery. That is the thought behind Snowy 2.0 and Tasmania’s battery of the nation proposals. The premise is to release the water / battery capability in periods of high demand / prices and then capture and pump the water back up to the source in periods of low demand / low prices.

I’ll add more points as I come across them.


Sanjeev Sabhlok

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