A Renewable New York State
March 14, 2013
In January I posted on a University of Delaware study showing how a key, energy intensive region of the country could be run entirely on renewable energy.
Now we have a new study from Mark Jacobson and his team at Stanford, visualizing a renewable future for New York State. Forming an idea of what this will look like is the first step in bringing it to reality.
This study analyzes a plan to convert New York State’s (NYS’s) all-purpose (for electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, industry) energy infrastructure to one derived entirely from wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) generating electricity and electrolytic hydrogen. Under the plan, NYS’s 2030 all-purpose end-use power would be provided by
10% onshore wind (4020 5-MW turbines),
40% offshore wind (12,700 5-MW turbines),
10% concentrated solar (387 100-MW plants),
10% solar-PV plants (828 50-MW plants),
6% residential rooftop PV (~5 million 5-kW systems),
12% commercial/government rooftop PV (~500,000 100-kW systems),
5% geothermal (36 100-MW plants), 0.5% wave (1910 0.75-MW devices),
1% tidal (2600 1-MW turbines),
and 5.5% hydroelectric (6.6 1300-MW plants, –
of which 89% exist).
The conversion would reduce NYS’s end-use power demand ~37% and stabilize energy prices since fuel costs would be zero. It would create more jobs than lost because nearly all NYS energy would now be produced in- state. NYS air pollution mortality and its costs would decline by ~4000 (1200-7600) deaths/yr, and $33 (10-76) billion/yr (3% of 2010 NYS GDP), respectively, alone repaying the 271 GW installed power needed within ~17 y, before accounting for electricity sales. NYS’s own emission decreases would reduce 2050 U.S. climate costs by ~$3.2 billion/yr.
An important concern to address in a clean-energy economy is whether electric power demand can be met with WWS (water, wind,solar) supply on a minutely, daily, and seasonal basis. Previous work has described multiple methods to match renewable energy supply with demand and to smooth out the variability of WWS resources (Delucchi and Jacobson, 2011). Such methods include
(A) combining geographically-dispersed WWS resources as a bundled set of resources rather than separate resources and using hydroelectric or stored concentrated solar power to balance the remaining load;
(B) using demand-response management to shift times of demand to better match the availability of WWS power;
(C) over-sizing WWS peak generation capacity to minimize the times when available WWS power is less than demand and provide power to produce heat for air and water and hydrogen for transportation and heat when WWS power exceeds demand;
(D) integrating weather forecasts into system operation;
(E) storing energy in batteries or other storage media at the site of generation or use; and
(F) storing energy in electric-vehicle batteries for later extraction (vehicle-to-grid).