ANN ARBOR—Drive through nearly any corner of America long enough and giant solar farms or rows of wind turbines come into view, all with the goal of increasing the country’s renewable energy use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
But what some may not realize is at times these renewable energy sources can produce more power than what is needed, leaving some solar or wind energy to, in a sense, go to waste. This oversupply condition is a lost opportunity for these clean energy resources to displace pollution from fossil fuel-powered plants.
But by creating complex models analyzing power systems in California and Texas, University of Michigan scientists show in a study scheduled for online publication July 30 in Nature Communications that investing in batteries and other energy storage technologies can be economically viable, with proper policy support.
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