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Is the transition to a system powered 100% by renewable energies possible? It’s been one of the million dollar questions for years, and there are answers for all tastes. A new approach, not the most optimistic, has just been introduced by an American scientific team. After analyzing 36 years of meteorological information, experts question the feasibility of comprehensive sun and wind coverage this, to be reliable, would require investments that are difficult to assume.

the study, who analyzed hourly data from 1980 to 2015, concludes that in the best case scenario, solar and wind power could cover 80% of demand current energy in the United States. It is not little. However, for this contribution to be truly reliable, two types of infrastructure would be essential. On the one hand, those which allow the transmission of energy on a continental scale and, obviously, at a sufficient speed. Nor could it lack an energy storage system robust enough to overcome a daily solar cycle.

If, as is discussed in different parts of the world, including the United States, they jumped 80% of solar and wind power to 100%, the demands would go further. When it comes to storage only, the required system capacity would skyrocket to speak of weeks. In addition, still according to this team of experts, another essential step would be to give a strong impetus to the installations, with “Much more solar and wind power capacity than needed to meet peak demand”.

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Only the battery system that would be needed to reach 80 percent would require an investment of $ 2.5 billion, according to the MIT Technology Review in an article whose title – “Relying Only on Renewable Energy Drastically Raises Costs of Energy Adjustment” – clearly highlights the conclusion that emerges from this latest scientific work.

In the same sense, from the aforementioned publication, they advocate a mix in which, with wind and solar power, other sources of energy are positioned such as nuclear or natural gas with carbon capture. “They can still provide energy or, in the second case, quickly increase or decrease the contribution to adapt to fluctuations in demand”. In addition, argues MIT, these options do not produce greenhouse gases.

Either way, the debate continues with studies for all tastes. In fact, another recent study by the Lappeenranta University of Technology and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) pointed in the exact opposite direction by predicting that the full energy transition by 2050 is achievable and more profitable.