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Paul Korzeniowski's picture
B2B Content producer Self-employed

Paul is a seasoned (basically old) freelance B2B content producer. Through the years, he has written more than 10,000 items (blogs, news stories, white papers, case studies, press releases and...

  • Member since 2011
  • 1,439 items added with 489,776 views
  • Mar 24, 2022
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Advances in wind and solar will increase US renewable’s market share from 21% in 2021 to 44% in 2050, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Hydropower’s contribution remains largely unchanged through 2050, and other renewable sources of power generation, such as geothermal and biomass, collectively remain less than 3% of the renewable total.

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Mar 24, 2022

Not buying it, Paul. Principal author Vikram Linga at EIA makes the common-but-confused assumption that batteries might one day cure the problem of renewable intermittency.

"Energy storage systems, such as stand-alone batteries..."

A stand-alone battery...what is that?  A single-use zinc-carbon cell? A rechargeable battery that charges itself?

"...or solar-battery hybrid systems..."

Like many gullible renewables advocates, the author is apparently under the assumption that batteries built next to solar farms are actually charged by those farms - though there's no evidence to support it (I've written to him with that very question, and though EIA inquiries are usually promptly returned, on that topic Vikram apparently has writer's block).

"...compete with natural gas-fired generators to provide electric power generation and back-up capacity..."

Batteries can neither generate power, nor compete with natural gas-fired generators. If for no other reason, sufficient battery capacity to compete with a dispatchable gas-fired generator - enough to provide 800MW of 24/7 electricity for weeks on end - would come at a cost measured in $trillions. Not to mention, the dedicated resources to charge it.

More fuzzy math, provided by a renewables true-believer. "All it takes to make one plus one equal three is a little faith in human ingenuity and a lot of money!" No thanks, Vikram...been there, done that!

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Mar 25, 2022

Paul ,

Don't mean to nitpick but your title says renewables usage will double by 2050. However, the EIA outlook says renewables share will grow from 21% to 44%.  Since total generation is growing by a substantial amount renewables usage according to EI is almost tripling - going from 880TWh in 2021 to about 2,400 TWh by 2050.

Of course even that is an underestimate of where renewables will be by 2050 - 28 years from now. Here are the two primary reason why...

1) There won't be any coal generation left in 2050 - EIA still has coal generation at 500 TWh in 2050. That coal generation will be replaced by either renewables or nuclear.

2) EIA dramatically underestimates the amount of EVs which will be on the road by 2050. to illustrate this you can look at chart that shows predicted yearly sales of Electric vehicles. In the below you can see that EIA predicts that EV( Electric + Plug in Electric Hybrid) sales in US will go from 480K in 2021 to 964K by 2029. In other words, they are saying that it will take 8 years for annual EV sales in US to double.  That does not pass the "smell test".  In the real world, EV sales will double by 2024 - 2 years. 

With no coal generation and higher overall demand due to more EVs than EIA is predicting - renewables generation will be substantially higher than 2,400 TWh by 2050.

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