Those supporting natural gas development have described the natural gas boom as the bridge to renewable energy. The other side of the hydraulic fracturing argument call it the bridge to nowhere and say instead we should be developing renewable energy on a larger scale. An electrical grid expert talks about why large scale renewable energy would bring our grid to a halt.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Maggie Koerth-Baker, titled “The Past, Present and Future of America’s Electric Infrastructure.” Baker is someone I would consider an expert in the field of electrical infrastructure. Her overall message was not one against renewables or fossil fuels, but one that gave the facts on why we cannot cut out fossil fuels and how a full scale development of renewable energy is currently not possible with our current electrical infrastructure.
To read the full story click here - http://eidmarcellus.org/marcellus-shale/the-natural-gas-bridge-to-n...
To add to this, there's an excellent documentary called "Switch" - I've screened it twice now and HIGHLY suggest it.
Apparently I can't post the link to it, but google "switch energy project" and it'll be the first option.
Really good watch. It presents all major forms of energy available to the US, showing pros and cons and doesn't choose for the viewer but instead makes that point each has certain poisitives and negatives that we have to choose. I recommend it to all my family members.
She is correct in all that she is saying. Mr. Fox has a simplistic understanding of the electrical manufacture and supply system. It is the ultimate 'just in time' manufacturing and supply system. It has winter peaks (heating) and summer peaks (cooling) it is highly variable during each day as industrial, commercial and residential customers ramp up and down on activity. The movement to shutter power plants that have been paid for years ago is going to have an enormous impact on the stability of the system. Large amounts of money and effort is being put into the transmission grid to even allow for the shutting down of many of these facilities. Eventually, if the economy ever improves; there will have to be many more power plants built. These plants and the grid upgrades will have to be paid for. Electric rates are going to rise. An example of what Ms Koerth-Baker is saying can happen without adequate battery storage to 'backup' wind and solar is: http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/02/28/us-utilities-ercot-wind-i...