In the depths of the deep freeze late last month, nearly every power plant in the Eastern and Central U.S. that could run was running. Energy analysts saw a useful experiment in that week of extreme cold: What would have happened, they asked, if the power grid had relied exclusively on renewable energy—just how much battery power would have been required to keep the lights on?

Using energy production and power demand data, they showed how a 100 percent renewable energy grid, powered half by wind and half by solar, would have had significant stretches without enough wind or sun to fully power the system, meaning a large volume of energy storage would have been necessary to meet the high demand.

Read the full report from Inside Climate News.

renewable energy storage

Energy storage is critical as cities, states and supporters of the Green New Deal talk about a transition to 100 percent carbon-free electricity within a few decades. Credit: GE Power