The U.S. uses about 500 gigawatts of power at any moment. Is it possible to cover that whole demand with emissions-free power sources? Well, nuclear, which has virtually no greenhouse gas emissions, could account for about 20 percent; the rest would have to be renewables. And renewables are intermittent, so they'd have to be backed up by about 80 gigawatts worth of batteries, says Davide Castelvecchi at Scientific American.
Get Grist in Your Inbox
Christopher Mims's dystopian non-fiction is sought after by an ever-growing roster of publications.
Insane cycling video will make you hold your breath for two minutes
Why it’s a big deal that half of the Great Lakes are still covered in ice
NFL player tackles sustainable beef off the field
Why you should be skeptical of Walmart’s cheap organic food
The brutally dishonest attacks on Showtime’s landmark climate series