[LINK] Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK'

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Wed Nov 26 09:14:28 AEDT 2014

On Wed, 2014-11-26 at 08:49 +1100, Tom Worthington wrote:
> says, it is difficult to use solar or wind power for on-demand power as 
> the sun does not shine, and the wind does not blow, on demand 

I'd like to see more study of small and large scale energy *storage*,
since the obvious way to smooth demand vs supply mismatches is to store
energy when you have a surplus and release it when you have a deficit.
I'm not suggesting that all of these are actually useful for storing
(say) solar overproduction, but things like:

- lifting a weight
- tensing a spring
- pumping water up hill
- dumping energy into heating or cooling
- battery storage (small local and large centralised)
- spinning a flywheel
- dumping energy into ongoing but not time critical tasks
  (compute tasks like rendering or physical tasks like filling a tank)

...and of course the synergy between electrical cars and their potential
use (sorry) for energy storage when they are not being driven.

Some of these lose lots of the energy, but it's "free" so that's not as
critical as it is when you are burning irreplaceable coal or generating
indestructible nuclear waste. And lots of these point up how useful it
would be to move away from massively centralised power generation (with
huge losses in the network) to small-scale localised power generation
with less transport cost, more resilience, and so on. On the flip side,
massively distributed battery storage, for example, has major issues of
production, delivery and disposal - are these offset by the benefits or

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)

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