Clean power grid successes, lessons for ISEs in energy

Hydropower can supplement renewable sources but comes with drawbacks

By Alaa Kafafi

A clean power grid in which all electricity is generated from renewable sources is a dream for environmental activists, politicians, mass consumers and industrial and systems engineers in the energy sector. This dream entails harnessing solar and wind energy mainly to offset fossil fuels in production of electricity. These renewable resources are fairly new in the electricity generation fuel mix and have been developed enough to compete with coal and natural gas-fired plants and even nuclear power, since their cost dropped dramatically over the last two decades. The hurdle, however, is integration with the grid due to the intermittency from a dependence on weather conditions.

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