Guest Post by John Morgan. John is Chief Scientist at a Sydney startup developing smart grid and grid scale energy storage technologies. You can follow John on twitter at @JohnDPMorgan.
The fastest path to decarbonization would seem to be combining every kind of low carbon energy available – the so-called “all of the above” camp of clean energy advocacy. The argument runs that different kinds of clean energy are complementary and we should build as much of each as we can manage. This is not in fact the case, and I’ll show that a mix of wind and solar significantly decreases the total share of energy that all renewables can capture. The “all of the above” approach to emissions reduction needs to be reconsidered.
In a recent essay Breakthrough Institute writers Jesse Jenkins and Alex Trembath have described a simple limit on the maximum contribution of wind and solar energy:
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