In California, 100% Solar and Wind in 2045 will need $350 billion in energy storage

In California, both wind and solar generation are about ten times less in the lowest months versus the top three months.

If California reaches the 80% mark for renewables there will be massive amounts of surplus generation during the summer months and would need 9.6 million megawatt-hours of energy storage. Achieving 100% would require 36.3 million.

California should reach on 50% of its electricity from clean sources by 2020 and could pass a bill to legally require 100% by 2045. In January, they voted to close a nuclear plant which is a carbon-free source that provides 24% of the electricity.

The amount and cost of the storage will go over $350+ billion because of the wide variation in solar and wind power generation.

$350 billion would still be less than 17 over-priced pairs of Vogtle AP1000 nuclear reactors. The two 1.1 GW AP1000 reactors are coming in over budget at about $20 billion for both. Twelve pairs of AP1000 reactors would cost $240 billion even with bad cost overruns and generate over 200 TWh that California needs in electricity.

A study found meeting 80% of US electricity demand with wind and solar would require either a nationwide high-speed transmission system, which can balance renewable generation over hundreds of miles, or 12 hours of electricity storage for the whole system. At current prices, a battery storage system for 12 hours for the USA would cost more than $2.5 trillion.


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