Wind, solar could provide 99.9% of ALL POWER by 2030 • The Register
Fossil-fuel sources wouldn't be abandoned entirely.
There would likely be times when neither wind nor solar could provide enough juice, and when storage had been depleted.
When that happens, they say, it'd be time to fire up the ol' CO2 spewers and spin their turbines.
Doing that, however, would be a last resort, and not the first, as is true in much of the US's power grid today.
While the idea of a large, geographically diverse renewable-energy grid might seem heinously expensive, the paper's authors contend that if current estimates are correct that by 2030 wind and solar capital costs will be about half of what they are today, by that date a renewable system would be as cost effective as a fossil fuel system, and all without government subsidies.
There is one cost sweetener in their calculations, however: their cost estimates for that comparison includes the costs related to the human health effects of fossil fuel–caused air polution.
Those are costs, of course, that are not borne by the electric power industry. Yet. ®