Meeting the U.S.’s wind and solar ambitions in full would take up less than 1% of its land, less than the fossil fuel industry’s current footprint. Steve Clemmer at UCS goes into the details of NREL’s comprehensive study of land use for wind and solar. Of particular interest is the observation that setting a high bar for “responsible siting” of wind and solar projects - avoiding the use of sensitive, protected, urban areas, difficult terrain or … [Read more...]
Global map of the future cost of clean Hydrogen production in 2030 and 2050
The world’s commitment to hydrogen needs an assessment of which regions can make it the cheapest. Herib Blanco at IRENA and Jacopo de Maigret at Fondazione Bruno Kessler describe their study of the range of factors that affect the future cost and therefore the potential for clean renewable hydrogen, estimated for 2030 and 2050. The main drivers are the capital cost of the renewable generation and the electrolyser, the cost of capital, and the … [Read more...]
Lifting and lowering tons of bricks: the best storage solution for Wind and Solar intermittency?
It’s a high capacity storage system that’s simplicity itself. Use excess wind and solar to raise heavy weights. Keep them at a height for as long as you like. Lower them to generate electricity. James Conca looks at a system being developed by Energy Vault and already being demonstrated in the Swiss national grid. At scale, a single “vault” with 10,000 bricks will have an annual output of 27 GWh, sitting on only 14 acres of land. The bricks are … [Read more...]
Wind and Solar expansion is a threat to biodiversity. But by how much?
Wind and solar take up space, so a massive expansion will have an effect on biodiversity. But how much? Sebastian Dunnett at Hammersmith and Fulham Council in London, writing for Carbon Brief, summarises his co-authored paper that takes the latest data on wind and solar and its multiple impacts (a few are good, surprisingly) on the environment. The conclusion is that the consequences of land overlap need not be as severe as feared, provided … [Read more...]