Just moderated a mini-workshop on electricity supply for the European Calculator project, as part of the out-reach to co-design a model that will help decision makers judge the impact of different policy levers when trying to reach the Paris Agreement commitments on climate change.
Particularly interesting to me was the bullishness of what was considered possible when it comes to balancing energy supply when demand suddenly peaks/renewable energy supply suddenly drops. Many seemed to believe that – relatively soon – a combination of battery/energy storage options (central and decentral), combined with demand management (paying e.g. large factories to turn down the dial immediately), smart, local, grids and devices (that use electricity only when it is readily available) and trans-European grids (allowing immediate cross-border import) will substantially reduce – or even eliminate! The need for gas powered generation (the part of the energy supply that is not baseload, and can quickly be turned on or off).