By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~
Utilities are starting to experiment with adding batteries to wind and solar projects. These storage projects are feeding the mistaken belief that batteries can cure the intermittency that makes wind and solar unworkable as a reliable source of power.
The reality is that these battery projects are trivial in size compared to what would actually be needed to make wind or solar reliable. The cost of battery based reliability would actually be stupendous, far more than we could ever afford.
Here are some simple numbers to make the point. The reality would be far more complex, but the magnitude would not change much.
First comes the cost of utility scale battery facilities. This is much more than just the cost of the batteries. At utility scale these are large, complex facilities. Connecting all of the batteries involved and getting them to work properly together is…
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