Like ‘free beer tomorrow’, projects such as this one may sound good to some, but does the promised tomorrow ever arrive? So far, no. Not even close. And equating so-called ‘clean tech’ with the climate is yet another obviously absurd media fantasy. Solving the issue by 2030 is the target — good luck with that. Of course gas, coal and oil are their own energy storage, but don’t mention those any more.
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A major project aims to overcome a barrier to electricity grids wholly supplied by renewable energy, says BBC News.
Output from wind turbines varies because wind speeds fluctuate; output from solar cells changes according to cloud cover and other factors [Talkshop comment – such as 50% darkness per year].
This is called variability, and overcoming it is crucial for increasing the share of renewables on the grid.
A group of leading nations will invest $248m over the next decade to solve the issue by 2030.
The effort has emerged from a clean-tech research programme called Mission Innovation (MI).
Environmentalists say the sum’s a fraction of the many trillions of dollars of damages that climate change is projected to wreak on society, unless it’s curbed.
But the 23 member governments involved in the programme are spending US$5.8bn per year more than in 2015 – and they say they’ll commit more public funds to clean tech if they can afford it.
Solutions to the variability problem will include energy storage; for example, smart power systems which respond to changes in demand; advanced controls and artificial intelligence.
Those behind MI say that half of the global emissions reductions required to achieve climate targets by 2050 depend on technologies that exist today, but are only at demonstration or prototype phase.
These include hydrogen power, advanced battery storage and zero-emission fuels.
Solar power and wind power are already widely affordable [Talkshop comment – since when?], but the statement says nations need to develop whole energy systems to match.
The other main areas of the group’s research will be hydrogen power, shipping, long-distance transportation, and carbon dioxide removal from the air.
Members of the partnership include the US, UK, the EU and China.
Full article here.
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