California has adopted the United States' first energy storage mandate, requiring the state's three major power companies to have electricity storage capacity that can output 1325 megawatts in place by the end of 2020, and 200 MW by the end of next year. The new rule issued by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will be key to implementation of the state's ambitious renewable portfolio rules, which calls for 33 percent of delivered electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 and virtually guarantees that California, along with Germany, will remain in the world vanguard of those aggressively building out wind and solar.
[Editor's note: For an explanation of why the mandate is expressed in units of power instead of energy follow this link.]
By common expert consent, wind and solar can only reach their full potential if storage is provided for, as otherwise little-used generating capacity must be held in reserve for the times the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine. California's landmark rule was written by Commissioner Carla Peterman, newly appointed to the CPUC late last year by Governor Jerry Brown.Even with "storage" - and this mandate requires the use of the most expensive methods available, instead of older, less "efficient" means like pumping water into a high reservoir and using hydroelectric generators.
Those batteries either use expensive and dangerous chemicals like lithium compounds, or they use cheap and dangerous chemicals like lead and sulfuric acid. Knowing Kalifornia, you can guess which technology will be chosen. Batteries also have a finite life - someone will have to pay to replace them regularly, and dispose of or recycle the old cells.
Flywheels with energy density high enough to be worthwhile are essentially big fragmentation grenades. Engineers know that highly stressed structures tend to fail spectacularly, and spend a lot of time on designing containment structures - that cost a lot of money and energy to produce.
We have ample energy available in nuclear and future thorium-nuclear power plants. For the interim, "clean coal" technology exists that can also provide the thorium cycle with fuel.
We had clean, safe nuclear power available twenty years ago, in the form of the Argonne Labs' IFR project - that was killed by President Clinton, at a cost higher than allowing the project to be completed would have been.
(Damn, Slick Willie has a lot to answer for - he killed the Superconducting Supercollider in Texas, too. So many Demonrat Presidents have done so much to hamstring humanity's advance...)
It does not suit the plans of the New World Order and the international Communist movement to allow the use of energy sources that are cheaper and truly sustainable, because these sources tend to make people independent of governments. Wind farms and solar farms can only exist with governmental subsidies - no corporation on Earth would touch these technologies in the volume they exist today unless they were getting healthy amounts of money from somewhere - and turbines and solar farms can never economically justify themselves.
I would love to see an accounting of how much dirty energy is required to produce one wind farm turbine - versus how much "clean" energy that turbine will produce over it's lifetime. Or, how much energy and toxic waste is involved in making a lithium cell for commercial energy storage. Is there a break-even, or a net loss?