The report confirms what should have been obvious from the start: the more “variable” wind and solar are introduced into any electricity system, the more they make it both more expensive and less reliable.
The term Variable Renewable Energy, VRE, could more accurately be described as Unreliable Renewable Energy, URE, due to the terribly obvious fact that the sun doesn’t shine at night, and sometimes not during the day either, while the wind doesn’t always blow. Thus the more that wind and solar are part of your system, the more technical contortions they demand from backup power and the structure of the grid. The efficient part of the system has to twist itself into a technical pretzel to accommodate the inefficient part. Accommodating unreliability has led to outright perversity. The widespread adoption of wind and solar under Germany’s Energiewende (“energy transition”) has resulted in rising overall emissions, mainly from coal-fired backup facilities.
The report’s solution to policy mayhem is inevitably to call for more — and more complex — policy. “Can an integrated approach spur faster action?” it asks. Since governments have screwed up so badly, might they screw up less if they try to do much more?
The full article can be read at the following weblink: