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How quickly coal and gas-fired power facilities can be replaced in the US with zero-carbon electricity is a matter of debate among experts. According to some, the US can make the transition to 100% renewable energy by the year 2050 with little resistance and little expense. Some people think that’s an overly optimistic statement. It is theoretically possible to get 80 or 90% clean energy, according to scientists on all sides of the debate. The topic of contention in the final 10% or 20%.

A new green system must include the construction of wind and solar farms, but during a calm night, their ability to produce energy is completely shut off. Researching and developing green energy storage is equally critical, and doing so on a large scale necessitates immediate federal assistance, according to a recent MIT analysis.

“The Future of Energy Storage” is a part of a series examining how America’s energy sources are changing, and it is especially pertinent considering the present growth of the solar and wind sectors. Too much renewable energy may sound like a wonderful thing, but if it can’t be relied on as a city’s or region’s primary or exclusive electricity source, they are going to feel the necessity to hedge their bets using a coal plant or something similar.

Batteries are the main component of the solution; use them to store extra energy during times of high wind and sunlight and to power devices at other times. The fact that the current battery capacity of the United States is insufficient is scarcely a surprise given our growing dependence on what the report refers to as “variable renewable energy.”

The issue is that, in contrast to storage facilities, wind and solar farms are profitable. They might eventually turn a profit, but they’re not the easy funds solar farms complexes have become. Pumped hydro, one of the most effective and environmentally friendly energy storage alternatives, is extremely expensive and has few number of potential locations. Lithium-ion batteries, for example, are among the most widely used technologies, but they are not organized or capacious enough to support the grid.

According to MIT, the Department of Energy ought to get involved here. The federal government does have the resources to both subsidize the use of currently available storage choices and to support extensive research into highly promising ones. Although it won’t pay for itself, the research emphasizes that hydrogen energy storage technology could be a revolution. It has to be purchased up front by the federal government and paid off over time, much like other crucial infrastructure.

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