No, MIT misses the big picture with BigWind. #1 They fail to tell us that the average German pays up to 4x what we do, in the USA, for electricity. What impact will that have on our families, schools and jobs? #2 Building transmission lines across America, not just Texas, is absolutely cost PROHIBITIVE. #3 Why is nuclear being ignored? The author barely alludes to what nuclear can do for us- ZERO emissions, constant, reliable energy. Kevon Martis says this well, “The US Department of Energy has an annual budget of $30 billion. That is enough money to build 5,000 megawatts of nuclear power capacity each year. The US coal fleet is only 300,000 MW. Had we used those funds to construct nuclear power plants instead of create energy policy we could be nearly coal free in the power sector. Instead the USDOE spends those funds talking about how bad coal emissions are and how someday renewables will replace coal.”…
The rapid growth of wind and solar power in the states is wreaking havoc with energy prices….
Solar and wind power are coming online at rates unforeseen only a few years ago. That’s a good thing if your goal is to decarbonize the energy sector. But if you’re a utility or independent power producer and you make your money selling electricity, it can be not such a good thing.
In places with abundant wind and solar resources, like Texas and California, the price of electricity is dipping more and more frequently into negative territory. In other words, utilities that operate big fossil-fuel or nuclear plants, which are very costly to switch off and ramp up again, are running into problems when wind and solar farms are generating at their peaks. With too much energy supply to the grid, spot prices for power turn negative and utilities are forced to pay grid operators to take power off their hands….
In Germany, negative energy prices have become commonplace, dramatically slashing utility revenues despite renewable energy subsidies that bolster electricity prices much more than in the United States….
The first solution to below-zero prices is to build more transmission to ship the power to places where demand is high. Germany now makes close to 2 billion euros a year off energy exports to neighboring countries, according to Berlin’s Fraunhofer Institute. But building out new long-distance, high-voltage transmission lines is expensive: Texas has spent $7 billion on transmission lines to ship power from the windy flatlands of west Texas to Dallas and Houston….