Renewable energy can power electric grid

WASHINGTON, USA: Renewable energy from wind and solar power could support a large electric grid 99.9 percent of the time by 2030, at current costs, new research says.

"These results break the conventional wisdom that renewable energy is too unreliable and expensive," said study co-author Willett Kempton, professor of marine science at University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

"The key is to get the right combination of electricity sources and storage - which we did by an exhaustive search - and to calculate costs correctly," added Kempton, according to an university statement.

The authors developed a computer model to consider 28 billion combinations of renewable energy sources and storage mechanisms, each tested over four years of historical hourly weather data and electricity demands.

The model incorporated data from within a large regional grid called PJM Interconnection, which includes 13 states from New Jersey to Illinois and represents one-fifth of the US total electric grid.

Unlike other studies, the model focused on minimizing costs instead of the traditional approach of matching generation to electricity use...

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