Opinion: An all-renewable energy grid ‘definitely feasible’ for California. But at what cost?

“Borenstein said the biggest obstacle to hitting 100 percent will be storage. Natural gas-fired plants, which account for 33 percent of the state’s electricity, can be ramped up and down as demand fluctuates. But wind power can only be generated when it’s windy; solar power only works when it’s sunny. They can’t be stored up, and sometimes supply doesn’t conveniently sync up with demand.

For instance, Borenstein said wind generation is most plentiful at night — when skies tend to be windier — but that’s when electricity consumption drops. Solar matches up better, but there are still times when demand is high but supply is scarce, such as early evening.

That doesn’t mean going all-renewable will be impossible, though. Borenstein said California’s “knowledge economy” is the perfect laboratory for investing and perfecting new technologies that could solve the problem.”

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