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December 15, 2012

The lowest cost combination of wind, solar and storage for the northeast United States for all renewable option for 2030 but more costly than nuclear

Journal of Power Sources has a paper "Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time".

NBF - This actually looks like a more credible and realistic plan. Tbhis is basing analysis upon the crappy plans by Stanford's Professor Jacobson. This plan looks like it could be worth some further consideration. General limitations are I doubt they consider any economic growth that would require more power (it assumes you stay at the current energy requirements). I would also like to see how they are handling the power grid costs and if the grid is in the right places. Usually renewables need more power grid extensions which are costly and time consuming.

UPDATE - Found a copy of the full report.

They propose building by 2030
124 GW of the needed power from inland wind.
89.7 GW of the needed power from offshore wind.
16.2 GW from solar
51.9 GW battery storage

Of 91.3 GW produced power average.
50.3 would be from the inland wind
38.3 would be from the offshore wind

This looks like it would cost a lot more than building nuclear power or some other mix of power generation. This is a link to the EIA levelized cost of energy.

It looks like this approach would cost about 2 to 3 times more than a mostly nuclear power approach.

They modeled wind, solar, and storage to meet demand for 1/5 of the USA electric grid.

► 28 billion combinations of wind, solar and storage were run, seeking least-cost.
► Least-cost combinations have excess generation (3 times the load), thus require less storage.
► 99.9% of hours of load can be met by renewables with only 9–72 h of storage.
► At 2030 technology costs, 90% of load hours are met at electric costs below today's.

They use widespread geographical distribution the intermittent sources (wind farms and photovoltaic installations) all parts of the grid would have enough power. (windy and sunny in come parts to make for calm and overcast areas in other parts)



A map showing the outlines of the current PJM system (blue line) and of the inland and offshore meteorological stations used for the wind data (pink asterisks). (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web or PDF version of this article.)





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