Literature/202311101914 the problem with electricy
- Source: [[@gates2021How to avoid a climate disaster: the solutions we have and the breakthroughs we need]]
- Tags: #climate-and-technology #climate-and-electricity
One of the largest challenges to decarbonize electricity in the world, is adapting the grid to new sources of power. Currently, infrastructure has been built around power centrals close to the places of consumption.
Renewables pose other challenges. For example, solar may be abundant in the desert where no one lives, while wind can be available offshore. Adapting the grid for renewables is a massive undertaking.
Bill Gates is the first one I read openly advocating for the quick design and build of nuclear fission reactors. This is a topic completely left behind in The Future we Choose - Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. Nuclear energy has been proven to work, it scales, and it delivers an immense amount of power. It takes much less materials than almost any other power source (except gas).
Of course, there may be a chance at getting nuclear fussion up and running in the coming decades. But even the best estimates show that this is not going to be the case to reach net-zero before 2050.
Storing energy is an open challenge. Renewables that are available intermittently will inherently need a way of storing energy to be used in moments of need. And this is not just a matter of day/nigh, it is also through the year. Germany produces much more renewable energy in the summer (more sun and wind) than in the winter.
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