More Wind and Solar Power Perversely Locks In Fossil Fuel Generation

Emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is contributing to the rise of average global temperatures. Assuming that man-made climate change could become a significant problem for humanity during this century, switching to zero-carbon energy technologies to generate electricity would help prevent some of the harms stemming from addtional warming.
Based on this chain of argument, many folks concerned about climate change are seeking to mandate the deployment of solar and wind power as replacements for the coal and natural gas currently used to generate most of the world’s electricity. Will this work? No, argues Michael Shellenberger, President of Environmental Progress, over at Forbes. Contrariwise, he explains that the inherent variability of solar and wind will perversely “lock-in” fossil fuels making it harder and more expensive to “save the climate.”
Why? Basically because power generators will have to build and maintain a parallel set of fossil fuel plants to supply energy

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