The famous inventor Edwin Land said, “It’s not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.” He seemed to be telling us that solutions lie just beyond our old habits of thinking.

Cities, states and countries around the world are committing to clean energy economies that run on very high levels – even 100% – of renewable energy. In New York state alone, four competing bills target 50% to 100% renewables by or before 2040.

Realistically, only two renewable energy resources are large enough to meet these very high-penetration objectives on the supply side in the U.S. – solar (by far) and wind.

Both, however, are variable resources, driven by weather as well as daily and seasonal cycles. Therefore, they must be “firmed” – that is, capable of delivery power on demand – in order to replace fossil resources which can be dispatched as needed. Based on our research, we contend that this firm power transformation is not only possible, it is also affordable – if we stop having old ideas.

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