While the Texas blackouts aren't solely to blame on wind power - natural gas production has been affected too - I don't think people realize how much *worse* the situation would be if we had a grid run on renewables only.
There's no way to reliably generate power from wind and solar alone in regions that can get snow. And as we're finding out, pretty much anywhere can get cold. Backup batteries are far too expensive.
A carbonized civilization needs nuclear and hydro.
@pete if u would dig cheap great elevated water bassins and pump water from solar into them and release that power at nights or at demand u would be fine in such dry areas in a double sense and since solar bills u nothing it makes not much difference if that;s *super* effective or not, anyway cheaper and more scalable than hydrogen splitting or lithium wall storage imo.
And btw Nuclear and hydrogen splitting generate water vapor, the worst climate gas.
@dflate Yes, pumped storage is one of the reasons why we need hydro. Pumped storage is hard though, as good sites without much environmental impact are rare (most places it impacts water levels and flow, which causes local environmental harms).
Re: water vapor, that's just wrong. Water vapor is a self-limiting problem, as the increased humidity reduces uptake. Not to mention, the scale humans can add water vapor is *tiny*.
@pete hmm.. I will check again water vapor, maybe i *missred* something.
In case of basins i thought more on a double layout and no water loss, from pumping in/out uo/down that almost closed system
So there's about 1.3*10^16 litres of water vapour in the atmosphere. That works out to 13,000km^3
Since water vapour doesn't stay in the atmosphere permanently - it turns into rain and snow after all - to make a difference we'd have to be releasing a significant fraction of the that 13,000km^3 *continuously*.
Total consumption of oil per year is just 5km^3. That's not even close.
Re: pumped storage basins, double layout is ideal. But it's hard to find places suitable to actually building that at relatively low cost. So you compromise and use existing water bodies, which of course has environmental impacts.
IMO not a big deal; we should be building a lot more pumped storage capacity. But hardcore environmentalists don't like it.
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