The Pros & Cons Of Renewable Energy

After the crisis in Texas, sustainable energy is all over the news.

Over the years, my husband and I have relied on solar power for our lighting and for powering farm equipment on areas of our property where standard power isn’t available.

While I in no way claim to be any kind of professional expert on renewable energy, I have studied it a fair amount over the years. I earned my degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Forestry in 2005. Renewable energy is more affordable and accessible to the average person than it was back then.

And despite my major, I’ve always tried to look at any aspect of environmentalism from a realistic standpoint. Those championing it can sometimes go too far in their claims, and the topic often becomes mired in emotion rather than facts.

If you’re planning on boosting your energy mix more towards renewables, it’s important to realize that there is no free lunch. Renewable energy is great, but it has its limitations and costs. We cannot ignore those if we want to use renewable resources wisely.

This article will help you weigh the positives and negatives of different renewable energy sources so that you can make the best choice for your home or business. After reading this, you may even decide that several methods combined are best for you.

By making informed renewable energy choices from the beginning, you’ll save a lot of time, money, and frustration.

Since renewable energy options is a big topic to cover in a single article, I’ve included a number of links within where you can gain even more detailed information on the finer points.

And for those looking for specific direction on the most effective ways to conserve and generate power in your own home, I can’t recommend enough Peak Prosperity’s Guide To Home Energy – it is a veritable treasure-trove of practical guidance.



  • Solar panels are inexpensive. The cost of solar panels dropped dramatically around 2010. My husband and I were working on our house and had just purchased two panels for around $900. Within a few months, the price for the same wattage of panels had dropped to under $450. I recently bought an American-made panel for $1.00 a watt.
  • Subsidy programs and tax rebates add additional financial incentives. More people than ever are taking advantage of these incentives.
  • You don't have to go 100% solar right away. You can buy a panel and a power center and get started for under $500, and have at least some backup power during a short emergency. You can add more as you can afford it.
  • Many people build DIY solar setups and save a ton on installation and setup costs.


  • Only generates power when there is sunlight. If you have a few cloudy days, you may not have enough power to meet your needs unless you have a lot of battery storage.
  • Solar panels produce no power at night, so you must have enough battery storage to meet your needs when they're no available sunlight.

Determining If Your Area and Site Is Suitable

  • How many hours of high sunlight do you get per day? How much does this number go down in the winter months?
  • If you live in a mountainous area, does your property lie down in a dark spot or face North? I live at 3000 feet on a mountain in western North Carolina on land that faces South. Solar works well for us, but there are properties within a few miles that face North or are down in a dark valley where solar doesn't work well despite how sunny our climate is overall.

Resources For More Information



  • Small turbines are affordable and easy to set up.
  • Can generate power at times and in areas where solar is not possible. Solar panels don't produce energy at night. A steady night wind means you're making power. Turbines are great in areas where winds are common and steady, but sunlight hours are limited.


  • Only works where winds are regular and steady
  • Wind turbines are aesthetically unpleasing. In some areas, they are illegal to install because people think they will harm tourism or property values.
  • Storms can severely damage wind turbines.
  • They stop working if too much ice accumulates on blades.
  • If there's no wind, you have to rely on whatever power you've already generated and stored in batteries.
  • When wind power is used for larger populations, transmission lines must be built and maintained. Large wind turbines are often placed quite far from the people they serve. The further the power has to travel, the greater the energy loss.
  • Large wind turbine farms require vast tracts of land. If it's more profitable for a landowner to use the property for other purposes, it's challenging to convince them to invest in wind power.
  • Batteries are necessary if you want to store power for use when there's no wind. Battery costs can add up and they have a limited lifespan.

Determining If Your Area and Site Is Suitable

  • Do you have reliable and steady winds?
  • Are wind turbines legal in your community? If so, are there size limitations or other requirements?
  • What's the overall risk of a catastrophic storm? Are you comfortable with the risk of potentially costly repairs or replacement?
  • Have you seen evidence that anyone in your area has successfully used wind turbines to generate acceptable amounts of electricity for the amount of money invested? (this is a good sanity-check before purchasing your own wind system)

Resources For More Information



  • Water is reliable in areas that aren't prone to drought.
  • Hydro is capable of producing steady power day and night.
  • You can estimate what you'll produce accurately, unlike wind or solar, where there is significant variability based on weather patterns.
  • Microhydro systems can work effectively for home energy production even in quite small streams.
  • Small hydroelectric turbines and water wheels look better than solar panels and windmills.


  • It makes it more difficult for native fish to spawn and replenish their populations.
  • Larger installations can be an eyesore in an otherwise pristine area.
  • Illegal in some areas. On the Western Coast of the USA, the local utility companies monopolize hydroelectric power generation. You may own your property but not the underlying water rights.
  • Damming a waterway can be dangerous and illegal too.
  • Requires a steady stream with enough “drop” or waterfall effect to produce power.

Determining If Your Area and Site Is Suitable

  • Does your stream have enough “drop” to use a turbine? If not, can you legally make the necessary changes for a reasonable cost?
  • Do you own the water rights on your property? Does your local utility company have any special rights that override yours?
  • Is your waterway prone to flash floods?

Resources For More Information

The Dirty Truth About Electric Cars

While many are enthusiastic about replacing fossil fuel-burning vehicles with electric ones, the reality is that electric cars are not as environmentally-friendly as we're encouraged to believe.

I’m not discouraging folks from driving them. But if we were to magically replace our entire fleet of internal combustion engine cars with all-electric ones overnight, it wouldn’t solve our fossil fuel addiction.

Let’s start with just the raw electricity required to power electric cars. How is that electricity produced?

Here’s the breakdown of the US electricity generation statistics for 2019, the most current data available from the US Energy Information Association:

<img class=“aligncenter wp-image-609014 size-large” src=“” alt="“US electricity generation by source” width=“1024” height=“652” />

Based on these numbers, electric cars are cars primarily running on natural gas, nuclear, and coal for the most part. If most of the electric production in your area comes from nuclear and coal, your car runs on that.

And, of course, the mining and manufacturing of these cars, as well as the building and maintenance of the roads and bridges they run on, is also powered by fossil fuels.

I do believe that there are a lot of people that buy electric cars because they really want to do the right thing. But most don’t realize that while they’re not emitting tailpipe exhaust in their communities, somewhere, a power plant is releasing pollutants in order to create the electricity that powers their cars’ batteries. The pollution is often in someone else’s backyard.

Again, I’m not arguing against electric cars or criticising their owners. I’m just trying to highlight that our society’s fossil fuel addiction is harder to kick than most realize.

Electricity Production in the United States as of 2019

But attempt to kick the habit we must. Each of our country's major energy production sources comes with its own host of damages and dangers:

Natural Gas 38%

Natural gas is often produced as a byproduct of the oil pumping process. At the moment, a lot of natural gas is burned off as waste from the process of pumping oil out of the ground. In the past, almost all natural gas was burned off as a byproduct, wasting an immense amount of potential energy and adding carbon into the atmosphere. Though many coal-fired power plants are now being converted to natural gas, which burns a lot cleaner.

Another major problem with natural gas is the immense infrastructure required to get it to where it is needed to generate power. Any pipeline or infrastructure requires doing things to the land, buying rights from landowners, or taking land through eminent domain. The amount of outcry from various groups makes it hard to construct any pipeline that is tied to fossil fuel production.

Also, to safety store natural gas and transport it large distances (e.g. overseas), it is liquified, a highly energy and emissions-intensive process.

Coal 23%

Coal-fired power plants are notorious polluters. I studied them and their emissions for nearly a year in college. All science majors had to come up with a study and experiment for a senior seminar. Results were presented in front of all the science faculty.

Most of the methylmercury from coal combustion falls within a 5 miles radius of the coal-fired power plant. This creates hot spots of mercury contamination. My project was to test the levels of the fish that people were catching out of the cooling lake.

My research got stopped. My faculty mentor made excuses. I think she got a call telling me to knock it off. Who wants some college kid pointing out that the kids in the more well-off neighborhoods and schools might be in a pollution hot zone?

Besides mercury, there are plenty of other nasty ramifications from coal combustion. The ash ponds used to contain waste are a particularly nasty environmental hazard.

Yes, scrubbers on smokestacks have helped plants reduce emissions over the years, but they can only do so much.

Nuclear 20%

Nuclear is often thrown into the “green” category because there are practically no emissions when it’s working as it should. But one of the biggest problems with nuclear is the waste created by spent fuel rods.

These rods are stored on-site at nuclear plants. Constant water circulation is required to keep these rods cool and prevent them from melting down and releasing massive amounts of radiation – such as we’ve seen with the ongoing disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear site.

There was a point when the USA’s plan was to store all its spent rods at Yucca Mountain. That project was nixed, so now we have massive separate storage sites that we’re adding to all the time. If the cooling pumps at these locations stop running for any reason, disaster is only 1-5 days away, depending on when the last fuel rods were put in the pools (when they first go in, they’re much hotter than after they sit in the pools for a while). At the moment, the plan is to keep storing spent radioactive rods this way indefinitely.

Maintenance and safe upkeep is a growing burden, too. Many of our nuclear plants were only designed to operate for 30-50 years before being replaced or upgraded. That has not occurred. Lax policies like this are bound to lead to trouble down the road.

Lessons Learned From Off-Grid Living

Propane Appliances

Those that go off-grid often rely on propane to run appliances that use a lot of energy. Propane clothes dryers and refrigerators are very common. Of course, this means you have to haul propane in or have it delivered, making you more dependent on fossil fuel.

Some small freezers are possible to run off of stored energy from renewable sources. The small chest freezer we recently bought only burns 1.2 amps at 110 volts. Over the years, some smaller appliances have become a lot more energy-efficient.

Swamp Coolers and More Fans

Air conditioners are out if you are going wholly off-grid and want to use solar or similar for all your power needs. Consider how much power is burned just keeping homes in the USA cool, even when people are not occupying them for large parts of the day? On our homestead, we use some window unit air conditioners rarely. Some summers, we don't use them at all. My husband and I have found that it is easier to get acclimatized to working outside in the heat at the beginning of the summer if we just let our bodies adapt to the natural changes instead of creating an artificial environment.

Wood or Propane For Heat

Wood burning stoves are perhaps the common primary source of heat for those off-grid. You can get wood-burning furnaces that are set outside or underneath your home if you prefer to use ducts in conjunction with wood heat.

Propane furnaces or small propane-powered wall units are also very common. Of course, this makes your family more dependent on outside fuel sources. If you have acreage, like we do, that includes wooded areas, you may manage it so that your land provides all of your firewood for the year.

Alternative Hot Water Heater Systems

If you plan on going off-grid, you need to plan out how you will get hot water. There are many ways to approach this depending on how much you need and your climate. Propane tankless on-demand hot water heaters are one of the easier solutions if you have access to propane. Solar collectors are another option. Here is a link to an excellent article that shows 5 useful methods for getting the hot water you need off-grid.

"Too Much Magic"

Plenty of Peak Prosperity readers are familiar with the work of my friend Jim Kunstler. "The Long Emergency" is his bestselling book on peak oil. I remember reading it when in my 20s. A year or so ago, I wrote Jim, and we started corresponding while I was reading some of his other books. "Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking,Technology, and the Fate of the Nation" is a book I recommend everyone read because it shows how as a society, we tend to think that technology and science can find a way for us to maintain lifestyles that require massive amounts of energy. This mentality is how we get conferences that talk about flying cars as the future of transportation instead of improving electric and gasoline-powered vehicles.

The truth is that renewable energy cannot sustain the planet’s burgeoning population at the energy consumption level we are all used to. There have to be cuts if we are not going to use fossil fuels. Getting people to change their lifestyle is very difficult. Things have a way of going on until they cannot any longer.

Reliance on Foreign Manufacturing & Imported Materials

In his books, Jim points out that a lot of equipment required for renewable energy, such as solar panels and wind turbines, relies on mining rare earth minerals.

Many of the rare earth minerals used in solar panels come from foreign countries. Recently China has stated that it may restrict the export of rare earth minerals to the United States. They have made similar threats and statements in the past. The fact that a foreign country knows they can use our dependence on rare earth minerals against us, is concerning.

After China announced that they may restrict exports of rare earth minerals, the response of the Biden administration was to start reviewing vital resource supply chains due to the continued threat of shortages of supplies needed for daily life and essential manufacturing. So far, no results or future plans have been announced for ensuring strong supply chains.

While I applaud the pursuit to be more sustainable, the fact remains that if everyone switches over to renewable energy, more raw materials for manufacturing solar panels, turbines, etc, will be required. Supplies of key inputs like rare earth minerals will only become more stressed. The rule of supply and demand will come into play, and the cost of renewable energy will rise due to increased manufacturing and importation costs.


At an individual level, renewable energy is an excellent way to be less dependent on an aging and unreliable US electrical grid. It can also protect you from increased energy costs as power companies raise their rates. The key is to find the methods that work best in your area so that you can make the wisest investment of time and money for the amount of power your produce.

Once you have, then read Peak Prosperity Guide To Home Energy for specific ideas on how to minimize your home’s energy footprint through conservation, as well as which renewable energy systems may be best for you.

Also, there’s an excellent 'Ask The Expert’s Q&A session coming up this Wednesday at 5pmET with home energy specialist Bruce Sullivan from the Zero Energy Project. He’ll address any and all questions about home energy conservation and production.

At the national level, it’s unrealistic to expect that renewable energy will replace fossil fuels to meet US energy needs unless there is a dramatic downshift in the country’s lifestyle as a whole. Substantial investments in equipment and infrastructure must also be made.

Until that starts happening on a series scale (which it isn’t), we all better use the time we have available now to invest in our own home energy resilience.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

What a great, even-handed, honest review of alternative energies! They aren’t a simplistic, easy solution to our energy problems but they can play a valuable role if we stop and think about the subject from A to Z, just like you said.
I especially appreciate what you said about electric cars. We have a 2017 Chevy Volt which is really an electric hybrid. The front wheels are driven 100% of the time by the electric motors powered by the batteries. There is a gas generator that starts automatically and imperceptibly when the batteries are depleted and pump electricity into the batteries while they continue to drive the wheels. Because of this, we never have any “range anxiety” because we can quickly refuel at any gas station and continue driving. We experimented with the Volt for 8 months to see what it could do and then shifted our driving strategy. Now we try to restrict all of our driving within the battery range and recharge at home in our garage. The Volt’s electric range can be as little as 41 miles in cold temperatures near zero and as high as 73 miles at 70 degrees. (The motor also comes on automatically and for short periods to keep the batteries warm below 32 F. and to keep them cool above 90 F. but that takes little energy.) We commonly go several months before putting even a gallon of gasoline in the tank. Our equivalent MPG in the Volt runs 300-410 mpg. Our second vehicle is a Chevy Colorado pickup truck that we use for long trips, hauling stuff, in the snow and in very cold weather. It gets 14-25 mpg, so every trip we take the Volt instead is a significant gas savings.
Our primary reason to get the Volt was to cope with gasoline price spikes or even unavailability. I was a teen age driver when the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo hit and that has left an indelible impression on me. If gas were to go to $5 or $10/gallon or become simply unavailable, the Volt would enable us to get around in our local area anywhere we needed to go. We might even be able to make some money on the side by selling our services as a “gypsy taxi” service! Driving the Volt and reducing our gasoline usage is also helping us get more out of our rooftop solar array which is grid-tied. Our solar installer told us to expect to completely recoup our investment in 9-10 years, but with the Volt we’re estimating that will happen in about 8 years.
I agree that electric cars are not the solution to our energy challenges, but the Volt makes sense to us and does reduce our use of fossil fuels. If we only had one car, the Volt wouldn’t be it, but it fills a niche for us and our lifestyle.

Thanks for the great overview of various pros and cons with renewable energy. As someone who lives off grid I wanted to add a couple points and personal observations from my own experiences. First, as was noted in the article I’d like to emphasis that reducing your energy needs/wants is a HUGE factor and certainly worth putting serious effort into!
Next, I wanted to share an unexpected quirk I found with my photovoltaic system when I disconnected from the grid. For off grid system designs you need to size the number of panels and batteries to meet your needs in the lowest energy producing times of the year. For some such as myself there might be a major difference between what can be generated in the short cloudy winter days compared to the long sunny summer ones. The quirk I found was this resulted in a system which much of the year is capable of generating lots of excess power beyond my normal needs. As a result there are periods when I can use power hog appliances and it’s actually the best thing. For example, at the moment I have excess power being consumed to run electric space heaters to take advantage of energy that would go unused otherwise. However, I do need to keep a close eye on whether or not clouds roll in to block the sun.
Finally, I wanted to note in the realm of burning wood to heat a space that if you aren’t familiar with rocket mass heaters (RMH) I’d highly recommend checking them out to see if one might work in your space. In real world applications people who switch from regular wood heaters to a RMH report a 50 to 90 percent reduction in the amount of wood needed! I have a small one I built which is not as efficient as it could be just because I lack the physical space to make it as large as it could be to get the full effects of mass. Still I estimate I’m using 50 to 60 percent less wood than the soapstone wood stove I had been using, and 80 to 90 percent less supplemental propane for the regular furnace kept as back up for when I’m away from home. I know I’ve shared this here before, but since there may well be new people reading this, I did write a blog entry on my own site about the process of building my RMH if anyone is interested. (Sadly, I still need to do the finish work so it doesn’t look like crap. I’m thinking a tile and/or stone exterior.)

A Good Documentary about renewable energy.

I love my 2019 Chevy Bolt, all EV, but I was under no illusion regarding its environmental-friendliness. The mining and manufacturing of the batteries alone is hardly a clean process. While I enjoy not emitting C02 from the car, our primary reason for buying it was as a commuter car to take on short jaunts to and from the school where I taught. The fact that I was “excessed” a month after I bought the car notwithstanding, I love how nimbly it drives, how quiet it is, and how relatively cheap it is to operate - especially when gas prices go higher. It’s not a long-haul vehicle; though I did take it to Myrtle beach last summer, I had to stop twice to rapid-charge it on each leg of the journey, which can be a serious pain in the behind.
In any case, EVs can be a wonderful choice, but not due to environmental considerations.

The thing with EV’s, if they AREN’T the “solution”, then what is? Horse and buggy? What is the energy consumption per mile of a horse and buggy?
What’s the other choice? No powered transport at all, bicycles everywhere? How can you run a society on that?

The other problem with big hydro is carbon emissions. When you flood a valley then all the carbon stored in the biomass (soil and vegetation) eventually goes up as CO2 never to return. Plus the concrete releases CO2 as it cures. Plus all the fossil fuels needed to run the equipment for construction.

Last Summer I used 100% solar (no batteries) to run two air conditioners (split unit heat pumps that cost me only 350$ apiece because I live in Asia) between 10AM and 3PM. During cloudiness and from about 9-10AM and 3-4PM only one pump would run due to limited solar output. I have since installed more solar panels and hope to run 4 air cons this coming Summer.
Solar panel costs have dropped so much that they contribute only 5-10% of the EROI if you go all corporate and approach your energy needs by giving money to a bank and signing a contract. But if you DIY and also avoid the high profit corporate equipment and methods then you can get high EROI and low cost solar use. 10 times as many panels can compensate for extremely cloudy conditions. Put up enough panels yourself and run big appliances directly on solar when it is raining. It really helps if you can leave America because the prices seem to be about 3 times less out here (and even cheaper in China).
I wrote a book on this Take Back The Power!
I have only one circuit board between my panels and my heat pump. I teach how to do this in the book and send out free blank circuit boards to those who buy the book, can source parts and know how to build. Skills are everything.
I may ignore keyboarder blow black to this comment.

I just found Mot’s book on Amazon (I couldn’t find it at first) here:
I think this is exactly the information I’ve been looking for. Thanks Mots!

Hey Mots,
Thanks for the post and I have a question:
Could one use your information (and the required skills) to build a PV-direct powered air-to-water heat pump/chiller that could chill water in a large super-insulated tank during the day while the sun is out?
You could use the chilled water at night for radiant cooling in the house.
I’m just guessing, but maybe it might be more efficient than storing the energy produced in a thermal battery (insulated tank) than in a LifePo4 battery bank, if one was going to use the energy for space cooling anyway.
Your feedback is much appreciated. Thanks.

Clearly, EVs are not a panacea, due to their need for electricity produced by fossil fuels. But aren’t they still a substantial upgrade due to their efficiency? It’s my understanding that ICE wastes about 70% of the energy they produce, as heat. Electric motors generally lose about 10% as heat. Doesn’t that mean the total energy needed to move a vehicle and its occupants from point A to point B will be dramatically less in an EV than with an ICE?

I got my electricity from off-grid solar for 10 years. I am here to tell you from lots of experience that it is not easy depending on your battery system. I had lead acid batteries that required a lot of attention. It’s fun if you’re an engineer by heart and I think off-grid living is great to learn to be conscious of your inputs and outputs. And I am very grateful to be back on the grid.

I have no idea what the numbers are, but there is an inefficiency at the power plant as well as line losses in the electrical grid transmission system.

We got lucky and built our house around the thought of being off grid. It was a pretty easy decision in our rural area, our power company wanted $18,000 to cut down our trees and ruin our view, solar (12 years ago) went in for $19,000. I got lucky again and found a guy that had lived off grid for 30 years and he helped me design the system. We too have lead acid, it does require monthly maintenance, for the most part, just adding water.
Our big users of power are our water pump, freezer, and fridge, they are all D/C so there is no loss of power during inversion. Since it was a new build, we bought very efficient appliances, knowing it was cheaper to do so than buy solar panels to power inefficient appliances.
We chose our property carefully, south facing, lots of sun and at an elevation that we don’t need to run an air-conditioned. We designed a passive solar home that requires very little wood to heat.
All in all there is not much difference to us living off grid, most of the time we have more power than we need, enough to charge a golf cart during the day, weld, etc.
We are by no means power hogs, we do consciously watch our consumption. The second house on our place is conventional and we use about $15.00 a month in power, costs us another $30 to get it here. We have lost power for 5 days at a time in the old house due to wind events. The only hiccup in the off grid home was when I let the battery terminals get dirty. So far, 12 years in, life is good!
We are working on our second passive solar off grid build, this one has a root cellar and 10" adobe infill walls for thermal mass. Rough cut saw mill lumber, harvested about 5 miles down the road.

In my opinion you are correct. The main issue is how well your insulation is.
By the way, those who are passionate about thermal electric (passive hot water rooftop systems) unreasonably throw a lot of dirt on solar electric. Due to the 3 fold transfer efficiency of heat pumps (above freezing temps anyway) and readily available heat pump driven water heaters, solar electric is vastly superior to thermal solar for several reasons: 1. 200 to 400 percent more efficient than thermal solar due to heat pumping; 2. when it is hot out, solar electric can be used to run air cons, thermal solar cannot; 3. can send the solar electric energy anywhere with a couple wires, thermal solar is limited by plumbing. I have yet to see one in my country that is not backed up with a fossil fuel burner. I have been using unbacked solar electric hot water for over 6 years.
Electric techniques (such as solar electric heat pump) is so much more efficient and practical for heating hot water that the country I live in has made standard electric hot water tanks illegal and everyone is decreasing electric footprint for hot water ca. 3 fold by heat pumping using ca. 3 times less electricity. The 3 times extra heat produced by electric heat pumps is not factored in when comparing solar energy to fossil burning or to rooftop thermal solar. Regarding inefficient appliances the 1960 coffee pot and 2021 coffee pot are both above 99 % efficient, the 1980 electric motor and 2021 electric motor are both above 75% efficient. The 2010 fridge (I believe) and the 2021 fridge are very similar. Non-US countries in Asia have advanced appliances by going to DC fridges and heat pumps. Sanyo pioneered that about 20 years ago but the US hasnt kept up very well. The major advances in appliance efficiency in the last 20 years have come from replacing AC compressors with DC compressors and AC to AC voltage conversions into DC to DC conversions. Hmmm I see a trend here.
Rapidly changing new technology often is passionately derided as bad by early adopters or those who are focusing on past practices. I`ll never forget the highly educated and experienced professor in my grad school who went on a screaming rant about how crappy and fuzzy his new 8 bit digital chart recorder was and the greater superiority of his old analog pen and chart paper unit. These kinds of problems and advances are engineering/fairly routine driven by prices and profits and not limited by (not require) any scientific advance or research breakthrough driven by passionate dreams.
lol I am dating myself. I hope I live long enough to look back on these days of passionate denial of solar electric before panel recycling has fully kicked in, and old methods/forms of electricity are finally abandoned.

Always thought this very old technology would become useful at some point in the future. Using common materials and a safe electrolyte, NiFe batteries may have legs. New word - battolysers.

"[Nickel-iron batteries] are resilient, being able to withstand undercharging and overcharging better than other batteries," says John Barton, a research associate at the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University in the UK, who also researches battolysers. "With hydrogen production, the battolyser adds multi-day and even inter-seasonal energy storage." Besides creating hydrogen, nickel-iron batteries have other useful traits, first and foremost that they are unusually low-maintenance. They are extremely durable, as Edison proved in his early electric car, and some have been known to last upwards of 40 years. The metals needed to make the battery – nickel and iron – are also more common than, say, cobalt which is used to make conventional batteries.
The battery invented 120 years before its time - BBC Future

Long ago I bought a Nissan Leaf - around 2012 if memory serves - and it has been a fantastic little vehicle. All in we spent $23K and are still driving it today - everyday.
The battery went out of spec in 2015 and Nissan replaced it free. Since then we have had ZERO maintenance issues and it has been a pleasure to own. Nothing to do with CO2 or fossil fuels. EV’s are just simpler as they have no fuel, coolant, oil, transmission, exhaust or other systems.
I will do it again - but this time I’m going all in for a high end EV.

Spot on. No motor oil to change. No air filter. State emissions test? Nope.
Lots of small, intangible benefits. Plus, for me, occasionally blowing away the mustang with the butthole driver revving his engine next to me by zipping to 60mph in a heartbeat and leaving him in the dust is pretty fun once in awhile too.

I read somewhere that: owning a Tesla allows you to flaunt your wealth, as well was your morality, at the same time. In reality EVs (often subsidized) are an efficient tax avoidance maneuver (road tax on gas), but the marginal fuel in your area fuels it, often natural gas or coal, at reduced efficiency (each conversion of: coal to heat to generate electricity looses a % of the energy you theoretically started with). The coal generation pollutes someone else’s air leaving your city dweller with cleaner air.

Electricity is not a source of energy, unless you are harnessing lightning. It is a way to transport energy from one form to another more useful form.
That being said, electric cars will always be the least efficient use of energy. The energy used to power electric cars has to be transformed from, solar, thermal, nuclear, or chemical energy, to mechanical energy. Every time you change the state of one form of energy to another you loose a % due to inefficiency in the transformation process.
Solar would be the winner if we had the storage problem solved. But we don’t. Its always been a storage problem.
Natural gas combustion is the most efficient, economical, and cleanest form of transportation energy available to the planet with todays technology. After all hydrocarbons are just a storage mechanism of solar energy via photosynthesis. Because CH4 is such a simple molecule its combustion is much more efficient that of gasoline octane 87+ . Most gasoline is not combusted due to the size of the molecule. Leaving behind all sorts of pollutants. Ch4 or natural gas leaves behind in its most efficient form co2 and h20. Water is good, and Co2 is not a problem unless you think breathing is a problem.