A ‘Greener’ New Deal Using Molten Salt and Hydrogen
- Jun 30, 2020 5:10 pm GMT
This item is part of the Special Issue - 2020-07 - Energy Storage, click here for more
Energy storage is sometimes talked about as a holy grail solution to renewable energy intermittency. The simple reasons are that the sun doesn’t shine at night, and sometimes the wind doesn’t blow. Fair enough, and true.
Others assert that battery storage, seemingly the fastest-growing, practical, and dispatchable technology is just too expensive, inefficient, and can’t be scaled to the extent needed to fully back up renewables. This latter group also seems to be enormously and perhaps inordinately fond of nuclear energy, decrying that we’ve only built one new unit in years, notwithstanding the enormous cost overruns, years of delays and reputed corruption involved in the faltering, four-unit Vogtle plant in Georgia, which is years behind schedule with a tab now said to be up to at least $20 billion. They also assert that the lack of safe, sufficient, and “permanent” nuclear waste storage isn’t actually a problem. Yet the newest reactor to go into commercial operation in this country is Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Unit 2, which began operation in June 2016 and before that, one built 24 years ago.
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