Atlantic Council Board Director Alexander Mirtchev writes for Forbes on how feasible renewable technology is after the conclusion of the Paris climate agreement:
The exuberant responses to the Paris climate agreement should be perplexing. President Obama hailed the agreement as “the best chance to save the one planet we have,” and Secretary of State Kerry added “people are moving into low-carbon, no-carbon, alternative, renewable energy….” However, this exuberance ignores the fact that there are still legitimate questions regarding the technological impediments and long-term viability of nearly every renewable energy technology.
Intermittency and variability issues, for instance, plague solar and wind power technologies, which require back-up generation (usually fossil fuel-based) capacity. Storage issues represent another challenge as the majority of renewables cannot provide on-demand energy. Even during the Paris climate conference, the wind turbine and solar panels that were set up to power the lights of the Champs-Élysées were not up to the task. As Professor Bjørn Lomborg points out in his article “A Climate Agreement Powered by Hypocrisy,” the organizers set up stationery bikes and hamster wheels to do the job.