As I repeatedly point out there is no evidence yet for any CO2 reduction at a global level from current deployment of wind and solar. Running the numbers shows that current levels of investment ($250B/y) are insufficient to have a discernible impact. Despite great improvements current wind and solar still need considerable subsidy support (euphemistically called policy support) and need to address the full costs of integrating intermittent sources of electricity into a supply on-demand grid.
There has been very little public acceptance of the need to address intermittency. Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news. I recently came across a report from the climate policy initiative group (CPI) that actually took a realistic view of a path forward that addresses intermittency.
Rather than demanding the perfection of a pure solution they settled on scenario that used CCNG as the long-term backup and Lithium Ion batteries for shorter daily cycling. In this approach the CCNG plants have a very low utilization factor which in an open market would produce a very high cost of their electricity. However, it only produces 10% to 20% the CO2 of a pure CCNG all gas solution.
As they point out the system would not be economically competitive with today’s Lithium Ion technology and the burden of CCNG capital costs and would need government policy support. They project that with current Lithium ion cost and reliability trends the system might be competitive by 2030.
That doesn’t sound so bad unless you take the climate change science seriously. 12 more years of increasing CO2 is hard to recover from. Its also based on governments coming up with substantially more money between now and 2030. Current politics are not favorable.
It was refreshing however to read a report that addressed the real problems that need to be solved and are hopefully influencing governments of the reality of issues with current wind and solar deployment.
As always energy is driven by economics. The solutions have to be economically viable