Here's the standard story about the U.S. power grid: It gets baseload supply from hydro, nuclear, and coal (in that order), using natural gas (and the occasional oil plant) as a swing producer to meet peak demands. Renewables play on the margin, but are neither big nor reliable enough to matter from a grid planning perspective. On average, that story is true. In recent years, however, a steadily larger portion of total U.S. power supply comes from sources that we historically think of as "intermittent" -- namely, natural gas and renewables. Is that the beginning of a new paradigm (the …
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Sean Casten is president & CEO of Recycled Energy Development, LLC, a company devoted to profitably reducing greenhouse emissions.