NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Is Storage the Key to Alternative Energy?”


Mary:  I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks if storage is the key to alternative energy.  Mike, many people see alternative energy – such as solar and wind power – as the key to having environmentally friendly future power sources.   Is there anything that is holding these energy forms back?

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. One of the big issues is storage
  2. Solar and wind power are only generated when the sun shines and wind blows
  3. But nothing if don’t
  4. Solution is to be able to store the generated power – usually in batteries
  5. As of now, big enough batteries haven’t been developed to solve this problem, but when happens – will make solar and wind power more economical
  6. Incidentally, conventional power faces a similar problem of storing the generated electricity
  7. Solved by building power plants to handle peak load
  8. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service