What if everything you thought you knew about energy was exactly backwards? What if the way that we currently do electricity is actually the most expensive option, and all of that fancy “clean-tech” and “green-tech” actually the cheapest option? Listen to the Outside/In podcast episode GRIDLOCKED for answers.
Conventional wisdom has it that without baseload power—coal and nuclear plants running in the background at all times—the grid will become unreliable. After all, how could wind and solar keep the lights on when they are so inherently variable? But now, a growing number of people are challenging that idea. In this interview, Jesse Morris, with the Rocky Mountain Institute, argues baseload power isn’t necessary.
Historically, electricity pricing has been relatively straightforward: the more you use, the more you pay. But today, that simple equation is not so simple. Increasingly, the time of day when you use electricity factors into the cost as well.
Denmark gets some 40 percent of its power from wind energy, but it’s aiming for even more—going fully renewable by 2030. In order to do that, it’s going to have to shake up the traditional relationship between electricity supply and demand, and the country is looking to a tiny island in the middle of the Baltic Sea for guidance.