The strident supporters of so-called alternative energy sources overlook a key point. Due to the intermittent nature of solar and wind energy, a complete system of nuclear, or fossil fuel, or hydropower, plus a transmission network, must be built and maintained for the times when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.
The cost of this necessary conventional energy grid is seldom shared by solar and wind systems and their owners. If costs were fairly allocated, renewable energy sources would be even more expensive and less competitive with traditional sources. A means of storing renewable energy, yet to be proven, would increase costs further and backup power would still be required.
Thus, renewable energy isn’t an alternative source of power as it can’t be relied on 24/7. Solar and wind energy generation should be considered additional sources, not alternates. Also, these systems should bear a portion of the cost of building and maintaining the conventional system as it is these nonrenewable sources that make wind and solar power viable.
An intelligent system would use all of the above, with total costs allocated across the system.
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One could conceive of a nuclear plant providing a baseline, wind and solar contributing when possible, and fossilfueled plants making up the difference.