Decarbonizing the Power Grid
May 22, 2018
The renewable energy industry is on the cutting edge of modern technology. The electric grid was on the cutting edge of modern technology at the turn of the 20th century...and while the grid is of course constantly undergoing upgrades, it is still not fully capable of making the transition to 100% clean energy and leaving carbon-emitting energy resources behind.
One of my favorite energy journalists, David Roberts, breaks this issue down in his article 'A beginner's guide to the debate over 100% renewable energy', which links to a handful of other really helpful resources as well.
The main problem for wind and solar are that they are variable in nature: the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine, whereas electric utilities need access to energy that is reliable and dispatchable at all times. The good news is that there are ways to work around this, some of which are already being implemented/tested all over the world.
If this topic is something that interests you, I also highly recommend David Robert's series "Utilities for Dummies"