The $2.5 trillion reason we can’t rely on batteries to clean up the grid

Fluctuating solar and wind power require lots of energy storage, and lithium-ion batteries seem like the obvious choice—but they are far too expensive to play a major role.

Not only is lithium-ion technology too expensive for this role, but limited battery life means it’s not well suited to filling gaps during the days, weeks, and even months when wind and solar generation flags.

This problem is particularly acute in California, where both wind and solar fall off precipitously during the fall and winter months.