Can we power the country with renewable energy? Certainly the cost of renewable energy is dropping rapidly! I think the answer is yes and I think it can happen much faster than most realize. That said, the coal industry has an enormous incentive to disrupt renewable energy development and many utilities fear it. It is a similar story for oil. The Electric Vehicle (EV) is here to stay and will mainstream much faster than most can imagine. The success of the EV depends upon the cost of lithium Ion batteries coming down rapidly. Below are some well documented posts from this blog that show the path and trends that are revolutionizing energy.
Wind power from the Great Plains could provide much of the country’s electricity. The missing link is no longer cost, rather it is transmission line access. And there it is not cost but right of way. High Voltage DC power transmission is an efficient way to move the power all that is left is to get the transmission line right of way’s.
Intermittency is a major difficulty with renewables. However Great Plains wind is extraordinarily stable and so intermittency can be reduced considerably by using it. But the need for storage and better load timing are important. The EV and Lithium Ion batteries may offer a solution. Prices of Lithium Ion batteries are dropping rapidly and EVs charge at night when wind in many areas blows the most.