Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Replacing Fossil Fuel and Nuclear Power with Renewable Energy: Wind, Solar and Hydro Power

 It’s a MYTH that We Need Fossil Fuel Or Nuclear
The big oil, gas, coal and nuclear companies claim that we need those energy sources in order to power America.
Good news: it’s a myth.
Mark Diesendorf – Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Institute of Environmental Studies, UNSW at the University of New South Wales – notes:
The deniers and scoffers repeatedly utter the simplistic myth that renewable energy is intermittent and therefore cannot generate base-load (that is, 24-hour) power.
Detailed computer simulations, backed up with actual experience with wind power overseas, show that the scoffers are wrong. Several countries, including Australia with its huge renewable energy resources, could make the necessary transition to an electricity generation system comprising 100 per cent renewable energy over a few decades.
Feasibility has been established by computer simulations of electricity generation systems by several research groups around the world, including my own …
Diesendorf gave an update earlier this month:
Ben Elliston, Iain MacGill and I have performed thousands of computer simulations of 100% renewable electricity in the National Electricity Market(NEM), using actual hourly data on electricity demand, wind and solar power for 2010.
Our latest research, available here and reported here, finds that generating systems comprising a mix of different commercially available renewable energy technologies, located on geographically dispersed sites, do not need base load power stations to achieve the same reliability as fossil-fuelled systems.
The old myth was based on the incorrect assumption that base load demand can only be supplied by base load power stations; for example, coal in Australia and nuclear in France. However, the mix of renewable energy technologies in our computer model, which has no base load power stations, easily supplies base load demand.