Since the Green New Deal became mainstream news a year ago, calls for more and more renewable energy have multiplied, including here in Missouri. There is nothing wrong with generating electric power from wind and sunlight. In fact, there are benefits to using “free” fuel sources like wind and sunlight compared to extracting coal or natural gas. However, even renewable energy has trade-offs. Uncooperative weather, high energy storage prices, and the way the electric grid works pose challenges to incorporating more wind and solar power.
This raises the question: Can there be too much renewable energy? Despite the abundance of wind and sunlight, is there a point where the costs outweigh the benefits (including the cost of harnessing these supposedly free fuel sources)? I address these questions in a recent op-ed posted at Real Clear Energy.