The purpose of this post is to stimulate more discussion about this post, and other aspects of a successful solution. I’ll contribute a few comments of my own, but I don’t have real expertise in this issue.
It’s true that wind and solar have intermittency issues. It’s also true that by smart use of the grid, we can distribute the power generated by those methods and smooth out the irregularities in supply. So, I don’t think the intermittency issues are as much a problem as some others say, but I don’t buy in to the “everybody’s rooftop solar makes them independent” utopia either.
I have no faith at all in CCS. The energy required to do it seems prohibitive, and the technology is still in the “demonstration” phase — if that.
I don’t think the energy storage situation is as bleak as others claim. There are existing technologies that, I think, are underexploited. But storage too is not yet up to snuff — we’ve been spoiled by fossil fuels, whose abundance (up to now) has encouraged waste.
Perhaps the greatest short-to-medium term benefit would be an increase in efficiency. The sheer waste of energy we show is, it seems, staggering.
Finally, if we’re going to institute a Manhattan-project scale effort, I think its first goal should be energy storage, which will make the solar/wind resource even more valuable.
That said, have at it. Keep it civil.