Wow! Is that a loaded question.
On a raw basis, electricity generated by wind and solar is the “least cost” form of raw useable energy in the history of hominids. There is no incremental cost of producing the electricity.
The expense is because we have not yet developed the uses that must exist for that electricity to be useful.
I’m glad because the result has been nearly a trillion dollars worth of installed asserts in both Solar and Wind. This suicidal and uncontrolled or planned growth has driven the cost down to a point where it is not economically viable for the biggest participants of 2014. Virtually all of the assets deployed by 2015, have been sold off at very substantial discounts from the original installed cost. What can be very viable electricity resources, but the industry refuses to address the reality that the schedules of wind and solar electricity are no closer to matching the way we use energy than ever.
This intermittent electricity can now be far more valuable than ever before, but the “existing reality” cannot imagine these uses without contradicting over a decade worth of rhetoric.
So, back to your question. Yes, it will become one of the most viable sources of raw energy in the history of humankind, and No, the wind turbines installed to date have been designed to create maximum profit, and as a result, were overpriced and under refined. Going forward and with the value extraction strategies wind will become extremely viable.
Net is that we are just now positioning in a way where both Wind and Solar can become the primary source of energy on our planet.
© William Ross Williams Copyright 2018
You will continue hearing me highlight the word “energy” when I am referring to reducing combustion in a vast number of applications.
This is a picture of what will soon be the world’s largest concentrating solar facility.
Note I did not say CSP which stands for concentrating solar power. This facility does not make any power. No steam turbines no boilers, no natural gas for fuel. In fact, this whole facility is designed to replace the gas that was being used to make the steam for the enhanced oil recovery that will continue for many years.
There are a great number of remarkable things about this project as well as the disclosure of some realities we don’t hear about had big renewable energy conferences that are absolutely determined to focus only on the electricity that can be made without combustion. Not energy, it just electricity.
If you do choose to read the article, it points out that two-thirds of the industrial energy used is thermal. It also points out that, as a result of not trying to make electricity, this project comes in at less than half the cost of the CSP plants focused on making electricity.
The CO2 reduction of this facility is equal to three times as much as CSP electricity because in this situation the overall heat efficiency is closer to 95% than the 35% of the thermal energy produced by the world’s largest see SP electricity generating stations.
To summarize, this highlights the incredible value of renewable ENERGY, when its use is not limited to just the electricity it can produce.
The applications for this approach two reducing fossil fuel our virtually unlimited, and will quickly be attacking other situations where fossil fuel is being burned to make heat.
“Combustion Free”© is achievable and within reach, if we just turn our focus to CO2 reduction, that is in addition to the usable electricity from wind and solar.