I spent some time this morning reading a research article that had piqued my interest. The article made an interesting claim that by way overbuilding renewable resources such as solar, onshore wind, and offshore wind, we could end up saving money. Rather than learning anything new and important, I was reminded that a lot research articles are garbage.
Long story short, this paper was claiming that 20% of the US grid could be served entirely by renewables upwards of 99% of the time. And it would save us money. But here’s the kicker: the researcher did this by only providing power to about 40% of that 20%. It’s pretty shady.
Another little bonus was that as part of their modeling of electricity storage, they decided that plug-in vehicle-based storage was the cheapest option. However they didn’t seem to do any accounting for the fact that plug-in vehicles need to actually be used as vehicles. They didn’t account for cars being unplugged sometimes. Nor did they account for electric cars actually consuming electricity.
I bothered to email the author to see if there was something I was missing. So far I can only confirm that I’m missing a response from the paper’s author.