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U.S. can get to 100% clean energy with wind, water, solar and zero nuclear, Stanford professor says

By December 26th, 2021No Comments

“A prominent Stanford University professor has outlined a roadmap for the United States to meet its total energy needs using 100% wind, water and solar by 2050.

The Achilles’ heel of a completely renewable grid, many argue, is that it is not stable enough to be reliable. Blackouts have become a particular concern, notably in Texas this year and during the summer of 2020 in California.

That’s where four-hour batteries come in as a way to generate grid stability. “I discovered this all just because I have batteries in my own home,” Jacobson told CNBC. “And I figured, oh, my God, this is so basic. So obvious. I can’t believe nobody has figured this out.”

Planning, of course, is also key to keeping the grid stable. “Wind is variable, solar is variable,” Jacobson said. “But it turns out, first of all, when you interconnect wind and solar over large areas, which is currently done, you smooth out the supply quite a bit. So it’s because, you know, when the wind is not blowing in one place, it’s usually blowing somewhere else. So over a large region, you have a smoother supply of energy.”

Similarly, wind and solar power are complimentary. And hydropower “is perfect backup, because you can turn it on and off instantaneously,” he said.

Direct link to PDF paper: