A Wind & Solar Grid

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Manage episode 282791177 series 2858730
By firstprinciples. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

What would an electrical grid powered by solar and wind energy look like? We tried to analyze this problem from a simplistic model, using some basic back-of-the-envelope calculations.

Mainly, we coarsely estimated the land foot print required, if all of Canada's and USA's power were supplied by wind or solar energy.

Of course, the story is not so simple because we can't have the full conversation on sustainability of these technologies, without mentioning energy storage in some form, which we briefly allude to as well.

We also looked at the policy implications associated with any technology and how they impact their application. A great solution executed poorly is no solution at all, hence the coining of the term "unreliables" when some refer to solar and wind power.

This ultimately leads to a comparison of some of the positive and negative aspects of renewable energies, fossil fuels, and nuclear energy. No country has the same make-up of energy and that was evident when we looked at the cost of electricity in China, Germany, Canada, and Kenya in relation to the different forms of energy used to power their respective grids.

Listen for full analysis because some of the answers to the questions above may surprise you!

10 episodes