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Lack of energy storage makes renewables-only grids a pipedream

Published:  07 December, 2022

A new paper published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation warns that renewable energy policies being pursued around the world are unrealistic.

That’s because renewables-only grids require large amounts of electricity storage to make them viable. However, the world currently lacks any power storage technology that is both affordable and scalable.

As the paper’s author, Francis Menton explains:

“The amount of storage required is very large – perhaps as much as two months’ of average demand. The cost then becomes absurd: you could spend all of your GDP on batteries every year, and it would still not be enough. Hydrogen is better, but is still astonishingly expensive, because it’s so inefficient”.

In one of Mr Menton’s estimates, the cost of providing lithium ion batteries for a grid could be more than ten times GDP. Moreover, because the batteries wear out, the expenditure would need to be repeated every few years.

Despite this, policymakers are ploughing ahead with deployment of wind and solar, hoping that scientists will come up with something to save the day.

GWPF director, Dr Benny Peiser said:

“The skyrocketing prices in UK electricity markets in recent days are a warning. Without economic forms of electricity storage, a drive for renewables is going to end very badly for consumers.”

Francis Menton: The Energy Storage Conundrum

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