Study: the biggest barrier to solar expansion is that you can't price gouge
A recent study published in the scientific journal Joule, titled "Solar and wind grid system value in the United States: The effect of transmission congestion, generation profiles, and curtailment," proposes a massive predicament in renewable power: it's too cheap.
Substantial adoption of wind and solar energy generation is essential to meet decarbonization goals. As the supply of these resources increases, the value of electricity during sunny or windy hours declines in relation to the average value of electricity. Left unchecked, this value decline might put practical limits on the expansion of wind and solar and threaten decarbonization goals.
Policy makers, regulators, and researchers can use these results to inform decisions about which value decline mitigation strategies to pursue, choosing between technological strategies, such as energy storage or altered plant design, transmission and infrastructure strategies, and policy and regulatory strategies.
On the surface, this sounds…largely good? Cheap, plentiful energy should be the dream, right? But as the MIT Technology Review points out:
Unlike a natural gas plant, solar plant operators can't easily throttle electricity up and down as needed, or …
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