by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
Nature, economics, math, and also physics. My newsletter discusses the importance of Mark P. Mills’ extensive discussion in Forbes of renewable energy generation and the “weird” physics of electricity.
In brief, what makes electricity weird is that it has to be consumed at the moment it is generated. In that sense it is unlike any other critically important good that we can stockpile, piled up in times of plenty and stored away for a rainy day. No, electricity has to be used the instant it is produced.
That is why readily dispatchable sources (coal, gas, nuclear) are so important, not to mention indispensable even after renewable generation is hooked up.
I have, however, described discovering ways of storing generated electricity as a holy grail for affordable energy. I had not realized just how far from possible the prospect of battery storage is till I read Mills’ piece. I find it jaw-dropping, deeply disillusioning.