Bring On More Solar And Wind — But Have Backup Power And Energy Storage

SectorOil & Gas
CountrySaudi Arabia

Solar panels stand at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert near Primm, … [+] Nevada, U. S., on Monday, March 10, 2014. The 392-megawatt California Ivanpah plant developed by Google, NRG and Bright Source, which began operating in February, brings utility-scale solar to more than 5.

5 gigawatts, up 1, 089% since 2010. Photographer: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg Like many utilities, the Omaha Public Power District has a net-zero goal by 2050 — something that it expects to achieve by increasing the use of green energy. And like all power companies, Omaha’s plan includes the use of flexible energy sources that can kick on when the sun stops shining. Everyone already knows that wind and solar energy are intermittent fuels. They must be firmed up by energy storage or fast-starting generation that ideally is also carbon-free. Most often, natural gas is used as the safety net. But the makers of electric power generators are now creating multi-purpose more...