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The declining cost of hybrid electric systems (HES) involving solar, wind, and energy storage suggests that carbon free (or nearly free) electricity generation is becoming competitive with combined cycle natural gas. The distinctive contribution of this article is the suggestion that the best way to establish the credibility of the HES pathway is to organize an early large-scale demonstration of the operation and cost of a carbon free (or nearly free) HES ability to reliably meet the electricity demand of a relatively large service area rather than rely on government sponsored large scale demonstration projects or regulatory mandates compelling deployment of storage. This policy recommendation is supported by an original analysis of the cost of the HES to meet a demand load at a particular location in the ERCOT service area, and the sensitivity of this cost to one-hundred percent availability is reported.
Presented by John Deutch. Paper Co-Authored by Marco Ferrara and Yet-Ming Chiang.
John Deutch is an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Deutch has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1970, and has served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, Dean of Science, and Provost. Mr. Deutch has published over 160 technical publications in physical chemistry, as well as numerous publications on technology, energy, international security, and public policy issues. He served as Director of Central Intelligence from May 1995-December 1996. From 1994-1995, he served as Deputy Secretary of Defense and served as Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology from 1993-1994. He has also served as Director of Energy Research (1977-1979), Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Technology (1979), and Undersecretary (1979-80) in the United States Department of Energy. He is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group.