Energy Energy Efficiency Energy Efficient Infrastructure Power Generation Infrastructure

How to have an all-renewable electric grid

Power Generation Infrastructure

Summary

Are fully renewable electricity systems feasible? The article argues that feasibility is clear, and tries to answer how quickly can the transition be made.

Perspectives and insights

  • Islands are attractive places for initial renewable transitions.
  • Having a diversity of renewable sources can reduce costs. In particular, solar and wind are complementary.
  • Batteries work well for smoothing short-term fluctuations, but for storing energy for many hours or days, pumped hydroelectric storage is less expensive.
  • Hydroelectricity and biomass power are available on-demand, so having these in a renewable electric grid shrinks the energy storage needs.