well I know if the sun stops shining we'll pretty much all die ....... as for the wind , well , it hasn't died here , I know that ..... Chicago ???? well who gives a F about Chicago anyway ...... I sure don't ...... America would be better off if Chicago and Detroit were demolished and start over
Efficient, clean burning, NG. Although, in the Chicago region you predominately burn more coal when the wind ain't blowing. However, the wonderful weather you're having means your not burning much of that either.
Natural gas plants do mesh quite well with wind, they can power up and down much more efficiently than coal. You should look into adding more NG generation.
Well, I believe that is what advanced battery storage is for. I have heard many many arguments on how the manufacture and disposal of the storage devices is either bad or really bad, but it really is a 'pick your poison'.
Coal ash pits, versus methane release at fracking sites (ref: Tioga, PA), versus windmills that are so loud when in operation they scare off protected migratory birds disrupting breeding and will eventually lead to the end of many species versus solar farms in say, Joshua Tree that are killing rare and protected species by the thousands (they think it is water is the last hypothesis).
All-in-all, the US needs a balanced energy approach, period. Fossil fuels, renewables, etc.. And a way to regulate each effectively to maximize output and minimize environmental problems.
Drive north on 39 from Bloomington toward Madison. Windmills everywhere! Only about 10% are actually active at any given time (except in very high winds). In Illinois it appears the farmers are bucking the NIMBY (not in my back yard) philosophy so many others do ... remember the mills they planned of the coast of Cape Cod, Martha's Vinyard, etc.??? What an uprising even though the coastal winds there would more than support the continuous movement.
Batteries to provide electricity when the windmills aren't running? Seriously?
Facility type uninterruptible power supplies cost $10K's, and even they are only supposed to tide you over to bring down non-critical systems and switch over to backup natural gas generators. The national power grid is always absolutely to supply more electricity than the peak demand, with excess run into the ground. If windmills aren't running and it isn't sunny (or it's night time!), all the batteries in the world times 100 won't run the country for very long.
The "reliable" natural sources for electricity are hydro, tidal and geothermal. Hydro is getting a bad ecological rap and the other two are currently pipedreams for large scale generation. If tidal technology catches on, the ecology squad will pound on them too. And I bet they will find lots of methane release in large scale geothermal.