When facing a large and/or complex problem, we sometimes get too focused on finding a fix to the problem and delay making any changes that get us closer to our goal. I sometimes find myself doing this on my day job where I get too focused on finding the thing that will make the issue go away and miss opportunities to make incremental improvements.
In the article below, researchers have determined that 80% of US electrical demand could be met by wind and solar power and reasonable investments. Getting to 100% would be significantly costlier with today’s technology and prices but we are headed in the right direction. I think most of us would be very happy with the 80% number in the short to medium term range. Plus, this report doesn’t include hydroelectricity, which, I believe, is the renewable energy source producing the most electricity in the US. Of course, there are issues with hydroelectricity, such as the need to dam waterways, but the amount of pollution generated is very low. In the state of Washington, where I live, hydroelectricity accounts for 60% of the electricity generated followed by ‘0ther renewable’sources at 11%. Washington is a net exporter of electricity thanks to hydroelectric generators such as the Grand Coulee dam.
The slow demise of coal power is inevitable as the cost of building and maintaining coal-fueled power plants is becoming more costly than wind and solar.
The United States could reliably meet about 80 percent of its electricity demand with solar and wind power generation, according to scientists at the University of California, Irvine; the California Institute of Technology; and the Carnegie Institution for Science.