Monday, December 28, 2015

Top 11 Problems Plaguing Solar And Wind Power

by Andrew Follett

 Despite President Barack Obama’s pocket veto Saturday of attempts to repeal the Clean Power Plan and recent increases in taxpayer support, solar and wind energy are in a tough spot, requiring an estimated $90 trillion of investment to meet carbon dioxide reduction goals.
The fundamental issues of solar and wind power are numerous, so let’s review the top 11.

1: Power Storage Is Incredibly Expensive On A Large Scale 
It is currently impossible to economically store power for times when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. Purchasing enough batteries to provide just three days of storage for an average American household costs about $15,000, and those batteries only last for about five years and are very difficult to recycle.

This is true for home power storage as well, even with the latest batteries. A Tesla power-wall capable of powering a home costs $7,340 to buy. A conservative analysis estimates that a power-wall can save its owner a maximum of $1.06 a day. Such a system would take approximately 25 years to pay for itself, according to the same analysis.

One of the world’s largest and most powerful batteries, located in Fairbanks, Ala., weighs 1,300-metric tons and is larger than a football field. It can only provide enough electricity for about 12,000 residents, or 38 percent of Fairbanks’ population, for seven minutes. That’s useful for short outages, which happen a lot in Alaska, but isn’t effective enough to act as a reserve for solar and wind.
The best way we have of “storing” power is pumping water up a hill, which actually accounts for 99 percent of all global energy storage.

2: The U.S. Power Grid Is Older, And Has Trouble Handling Solar And Wind

“Our power grid works well today. Some complain, but blackouts are rare and large-scale blackout are really rare. The power grid was set up for the [electrical] generation we have. Building a lot of new wind and solar requires much greater expenditure on the grid,” Vice President for Policy of the Institute for Energy Research Daniel Simmons told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
According to the Department of Energy, 70 percent of the transmission lines and power transformers in the country are at least 25 years old.

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