Some blog owners are a bit nit picky if the comments one offers don´t "fit the expected thought pattern". I decided to post this here just in case this gets discarded at Open Mind
My comments on your post, point by point:
1. “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”.
Response: No we can´t at this time, because we can´t dampen the transients set up when the wind dies. Think about it as if electricity were water, the wires were pipes, and we lack the water towers to dampen the fall in pressure when the pumps delivering water at the supply nodes stop pumping.
2. “I have no faith at all in CCS”.
Response: I agree. The Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects involve CO2 injection into depleted oil and gas reservoirs using gasifiers to generate high pressure CO2. I think there´s a slim possibility to make CCS work if the CO2 is injected into partially sealed containers and it´s allowed to leak out over a (long) period of time. However, we have impractical leaders and engineers who can´t connect their thigh bone to their shinbone, and can´t visualize 90 % solutions. So I give this little hope.
US Department of Energy CO2 Storage system
3. “I don’t think the energy storage situation is as bleak as others claim”.
Response: There are no practical cost effective solutions at this time.
Phineas and Ferb at the energy storage device invention site
4. “Perhaps the greatest short-to-medium term benefit would be an increase in efficiency”.
Response: No perhaps about it. That´s a slam dunk. However, as I wrote previously, we have too many people who can´t accept an 80 to 90 % solution. They go for 100 % and they end up with 10 %. Try telling Poland to stop burning coal or do it with CCS like the EU seems to be peddling, and see how far you get.
Energy efficient compact apartment of the future
5. “Finally, if we’re going to institute a Manhattan-project scale effort, I think its first goal should be energy storage”.
Response: Agree. Another slam dunk. Cost effective energy storage seems to do the trick if coupled to some nuclear, hydro, selective use of fossil fuels, and the dreaded population controls via soap operas, education for women, and things like that.
Not commented but I think needs to be considered: Geoengineering research. We do need to figure out how to control ocean pH, and this means trying to see whether we can enhance carbonate deposition. This topic seems to be opposed the same way religious extremists oppose abortion. It´s not something one wishes to do, but it has to remain an option we can use intelligently.
Dinoflagellate red tides thriving in the Pacific Ocean
may not be the best geoengineering solution