NREL and the baseload myth

One of the great problems with charging a whole fleet of electric cars is how would the grid cope. Would we have to double our daytime capacity and build out a super-grid as electricity demand skyrocketed! But NREL to the rescue: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory assures us that if we just charged all our cars at *night* on all that *spare capacity*,  we could charge 85% of American driving without building a new power plant or upgrading the grid at all!

But hang on. This is the same NREL that published statistics and models that Amory Lovins likes. You know, that guy that says we don’t *need* baseload power. He loves those hypothetical models. Not only do they assume *ridiculous* levels of energy efficiency (and I’m all for energy efficiency, but within reason!), they also commit the crime of trying to dodge the ‘baseload bullet’ by claiming we DON’T need baseload energy because not that much happens at night. We don’t really want industry and power and internet servers and airconditioning at night. Not even as the climate warms. We don’t really want our ipads and iphones and idevices all charging, the latest device with the trendiest apps, all requiring more and more baseload internet servers like running a fridge for each ipad.  They don’t matter. Amory Lovins has got a model to push! Too bad about airconditioning and iphones and…. electric cars.

Honestly: these guys are meant to be the renewable experts. Does the left hand even know what the right hand is saying over there?

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