Renewable Energy: Beyond Electricity

Perhaps the most-cited downside of renewable energy is that wind or sunlight might not always be available when the electrical grid demands it. As they say in the industry, it’s not “dispatchable”. A large enough grid can mitigate this somewhat by moving energy long distances or by using various existing storage methods like pumped storage, but for the time being some amount of dispatchable power generation like nuclear, fossil, or hydro power is often needed to backstop the fundamental nature of nature. As prices for wind and solar drop precipitously, though, the economics of finding other grid storage solutions get better. While the current focus is almost exclusively dedicated to batteries, another way of solving these problems may be using renewables to generate hydrogen both as a fuel and as a means of grid storage.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at