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Ted, think you can follow-up on an answer to this question?

I've seen people, on several occasions, make the following assertion:

You can replace fossil and nuclear with a combination of wind, solar, HVDC transmission lines, and storage systems (maybe molten salt, flywheel storage, or compressed gas, etc).

The argument goes that the sun is always shining or the wind is always blowing *somewhere*.

Is this even theoretically possible? Has anyone done any studies of what such a system of redundancy, storage, and transmission, would cost? My immediate reaction is that having to build so much infrastructure (redundant generation on the order of something like 10x as much 'nameplate' capacity as you actually need to achieve reliable supply, lots of expensive low-loss long distance xmission, plus storage which will cost god-only-knows-what) would be far, far more expensive than nuclear. . .

But at least theoretically possible?

There may be situations in which wind and solar power could be justified.

Suppose that there is a hydropower system which has an inadequate supply of water. By using wind and solar power when available, water consumption by the hydro system would be reduced. That could make continuous power available without a fossil fuel or nuclear system. It could be very practical for small island nations which otherwise would have to import expensive Diesel fuel to use when hydro systems run low on water. Probably it could never be justified for large prosperous countries.

Members of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth need to stand back, think about the resources and energy that's gone into one of these monster turbines, learn about their Capacity Factors and then apply a bit of common sense.

If you want to head for the abyss 54 X faster than using breeder reactors for base load, then keep pushing for wind turbines: http://lftrsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/energy-revolution-policy-to-ruin-planet.html

I usually like wind.
This idiom refers to something that floats lightly in the wind like the smell of freshly baked bread.
By yzi11

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By using energy when available, drinking water consumption by the hydro program would be reduced. That could make ongoing energy available without a traditional petrol or atomic program. It could be very practical for small isle countries which otherwise would have to transfer expensive Diesel fuel petrol to use when hydro systems run low on drinking water. Probably it could never be validated for large effective countries.

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I am really thankful for your post. It triggers me about windpower sources. I was a little curious that I did my research how helpful it is in electricity. I have to read more.

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