Fisticuffs Over the Route to a Clean-Energy Future

“Professor Jacobson not only claims renewables’ share can be ramped up on the cheap to 100 percent within a few decades, but also that it can be done without bioenergy, which today contributes about half of the country’s renewable-energy production.

And yet under the microscope of the critics — led by Christopher Clack, chief executive of the grid modeling firm Vibrant Clean Energy..”

Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable-Energy Plan

“Lead author Christopher Clack, chief executive of Vibrant Clean Energy and a former NOAA researcher, described Jacobson’s accusation that the authors were acting out of allegiance to fossil fuels or nuclear power as “bizarre.” The 21 authors of the rebuttal, which features a conflict-of-interest statement, include energy, policy, storage, and climate researchers affiliated with prominent institutions like Carnegie Mellon, the Carnegie Institution for Science, the Brookings Institution, and Jacobson’s own Stanford.”

A bitter scientific debate just erupted over the future of America’s power grid

““We thought we had to write a peer reviewed piece to highlight some of the mistakes and have a broader discussion about what we really need to fight climate change,” said lead study author Christopher Clack of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory. “And we felt the only way to do it in a fair and unbiased way was to go through peer review, and have external referees vet it to make sure we’re not saying anything that’s untrue in our piece.””

100% Renewables Plan Has ‘Significant Shortcomings,’ Say Climate and Energy Experts

“The lead author is Christopher Clack, a former research scientist at the University of Colorado and current CEO of the grid modeling consultancy Vibrant Clean Energy. The sheer number of co-authors suggests this is not a battle of egos. Their accumulated expertise has advanced the understanding of climate change and the system impacts of high amounts of renewable energy. They are not industry shills trying to undermine the advance of wind and solar; they are scientists who want to use evidence-based reasoning to optimize it.””

Factcheck Shows Trump’s Climate Speech Was Full of Misleading Statements

“A series of recent studies have found that the U.S. grid could operate reliably with large amounts of renewable generation. A National Renewable Energy Laboratory study from last year concluded that the Eastern Interconnection could operate with 30 percent penetrations of wind and renewable generation. A 2016 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study found that the U.S. power sector could cut carbon emissions by 80 percent without increasing costs.”

Sempra backtracks on VP’s “100 percent renewable” comments

Making instantaneous fine tune adjustments are crucial and Patrick Lee was right about that, said Christopher Clack, CEO of Vibrant Clean Energy. “but that’s only the short-term variability.”

The first 80 percent renewable energy is easy, he said. “The last 20 percent is very difficult because of these longer-term events, where you could lose solar or wind for three to five days.” It is not possible to store that much energy economically today.

The Energy Interstate

“The most recent high-profile paper making this argument was published in January by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Christopher Clack and colleagues built a model to predict the long-term costs of putting all kinds of energy into the electrical system. When they imposed a constraint on their model—it couldn’t use coal—they found that the cheapest option involved a grid of transmission lines that could carry solar and wind energy from almost any part of the country to anywhere else. Other technologies—perhaps Gates’s imagined miracle—would still be required to get rid of carbon-emitting fuels altogether, but the new grid would get us quite far, reducing emissions from power plants by up to 80 percent within 15 years.”

Bill Gates, the ‘Impatient Optimist,’ Lays Out his Clean-Energy Innovation Agenda

In an interview with the New York Times, Bill Gates mentions our very own founder Christopher Clack. Check out the full transcript or video of the interview in the link below.

“A lot of the systems design that people are looking at – like Christopher Clack — even if you can get the renewables up to 80 percent, then you have a piece there probably natural gas “peakers” [power plants that run in periods of high electricity demand], at least based on current technology, are way cheaper than any [energy] storage.”

Is 100% renewable energy realistic? Here’s what we know

“Clack told me something intriguing. He said that there is enough nuclear capacity in the US today to serve as the necessary dispatchable generation in an 80 percent decarbonized grid. We wouldn’t need any big new nuclear or CCS power plants.

It would just mean a) changing market and regulatory rules to make nuclear more flexible (it largely has the technical capacity), and b) keeping the plants open forever.”

A National Power Grid: The Answer To Renewable Energy’s Storage Problem?

“It’s a conservative model, so if a similar system was actually built, it might actually cut emissions even more. “The model was deliberately a cost optimized solution,” says Clack. “That is, there was no constraint on carbon, and we did not invoke demand management or storage. Technologies will always improve, which will help reduce emissions.””

Could Hillary Clinton’s ‘Open Borders’ Energy Grid Idea Really Work?

“From a technological standpoint, the US electricity system could be reconfigured into one national grid, said Christopher Clack, founder of renewable energy consulting company Vibrant Clean Energy. The greater barrier is the state and federal red tape surrounding those decisions.

“The main constraint to connecting the US together into one grid is legislation,” he said in an email.

Even if a national grid system were possible, would it be possible to arrange international agreements to make it work? Yes, Clack said, but it would be difficult.”

Study of how renewables hurt the grid puzzles analysts

“However, one researcher noted that the jury has already rendered a verdict on the question of increasing renewables on the grid.

“It’s a bit strange that the Energy Department is ordering a study on this when those studies have already been done,” said Christopher Clack, a former electricity grid researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It’s an old question that’s being re-brought up.””

Clinton Wants a SuperGrid

“From a purely technical point of view, it would be possible to convert the various networks into a single, international power grid, says Christopher Clack, founder of the consulting company Vibrant Clean Energy. “This could be realistic up to the 2030s,” Clack told bizz energy. A prerequisite for this is, however, high-voltage direct- current transmission lines between the states, in order to make such a large network efficient. Added to this is legislation.”

Grid Simulation and Wind Potential

Straight talk about the world’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables with energy expert Chris Nelder. For the full 60 minute podcast featuring our founder Christopher Clack please click below.

Short excerpt from audio interview: