Energy storage systems signal arrival of ‘baseload’ renewables REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson 21 November 2012 It has been widely thought that the arrival of cost-competitive rooftop solar PV systems would be the biggest game changer in the electricity market. But it may be that the emergence of affordable energy storage systems will have an even more profound impact.
There are predictions that the energy storage market is going to boom. One survey suggested that $30 billion will be spent on energy storage in the next decade in Australia alone. In the US, where $1 trillion is expected to be spent on electricity network infrastructure in the next 10 years, at least one fifth of that – or $200 billion – will be spent on energy storage.
The big question is who is going to benefit most from that investment – the customer, or the utility that delivers or sells the electricity. Or maybe even both. Most people are still trying to figure that out. Read more »
The nuclear industry and its supporters pounced on Merkel’s decision. They predicted blackouts on a scale Germany hadn’t experienced since World War II and skyrocketing electricity prices that would wreck the nation’s heavy manufacturing sector, the bedrock of the German economy. They warned that Germany would cease to be an energy exporter and be forced to import electricity from, of all places, French nuclear power plants. Utilities would have to burn more coal to make up for the lost nuclear power, they said, pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The British weekly The Economist branded Merkel’s action “a lunatic gamble.”
More than a year and a half later, however, those dire predictions haven’t materialized.
”You have to choose between the old system and the new one. And we have chosen renewables.”
Germany Abandons Nuclear Power and Lives to Talk About It, Bloomberg Business Week By Osha Gray Davidson November 16, 2012“……..Like all revolutions, the German Energiewende was set in motion by many factors and its course altered by a multitude of events and actors along the way. A few key moments stand out, however, and the Chernobyl catastrophe is one of them. To fully understand the Energiewende, and to anticipate its future twists and turns, it’s essential to understand the role Chernobyl played in shaping the German public’s view of nuclear power. Read more »
Water scarcity could drive push towards wind and solar REneweconomy By Giles Parkinson 14 November 2012 In 2010, more water – 583 billion cubic metres – than is discharged each year by the mighty Ganges River in India was used to meet the world’s growing energy needs.
It’s an interesting statistic, but why should that matter? Well, if the world continues on its merry way, power capacity – particularly with water-hungry energy technologies such as coal and nuclear – and water-dependent extractive techniques such as coal, shale gas and tar sands, are going to grow quickly, and, according to the International Energy Agency, the world’s demand for water will grow at twice the pace, putting pressure on increasingly scarce water resources. Read more »
New Korean Lithium Ion Battery for EVs Charges in Under 1 Minute http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2012/08/21/korean-lithium-ion-carbonized-battery/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheGreenOptimistic+%28The+Green+Optimistic%29#.UDbvH8FlT4Y By Ovidiu Sandru August 21, 2012 A new lithium ion battery developed in Korea could make those long waiting times for an electric car to charge become history. A team of researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) claim they can build a battery that can charge in less than a minute, 30 to 120 times faster than a classic Li-Ion battery.
The bigger the battery (in volume), the longer it takes to charge it –
that’s the sad rule of thumb of batteries these days. One solution
would be to split the big battery into smaller piles – which has been
done so far, but it’s still not enough.
What the Korean researchers have done was to dip the cathode material
(lithium manganese oxide – LMO) in a solution containing graphite.
After carbonizing the graphite-soaked LMO, the graphite turned into a
dense network of conductive traces that ran throughout the cathode,
acting like blood vessels and allowing the entire battery to charge at
the same time, thus greatly speeding up the recharge process, without
the energy density or life cycle being affected.
The new battery needs to be packaged no differently than a normal
lithium ion battery, which makes the new technology easily adaptable
to already existing production lines. That, in turn, shouldn’t make
the new Korean LMO batteries much more expensive, but a hell lot
faster to charge.
It remains to be seen when and if this technology will actually become
mainstream, or at least having some big car manufacturer like Ford or
GM test it on the roads.
MATCHING SUPPLIES OF ELECTRICITY TO VARIABLE DEMANDS FOR ELECTRICITY,DESERTEC UK, 9 Aug 12 It is sometimes suggested that renewable sources of electricity cannot provide more than about 20% of our electricity supplies because they are intermittent or variable. But all sources of electricity are intermittent because they need to be taken out of service for scheduled maintenance and because, like any kind of equipment, they are liable to unscheduled breakdowns. With all sources of power, load factors are normally well short of 100%.
The variability of sources such as wind power is much less of an issue than is sometimes suggested, as described in Managing Variability (PDF, 402 KB, a report by independent consultant David Milborrow commissioned by Greenpeace, WWF, RSPB, Friends of the Earth, July 2009).
Not only are all sources of electricity intermittent, and many of them are variable, but the demand for electricity is variable too—and there can be quite large changes from one minute to the next. The often-quoted example is how there can be a sharp peak in demand for electricity when there is a commercial break in a popular TV programme and many people go and put the kettle on to make a cup of tea.
There is a range of techniques available for matching supplies with constantly varying demands. When electricity supply systems are properly engineered, they should be able to accommodate sources of electricity that are 100% renewable.
Any or all of the following techniques may be used:
Large-scale ‘HVDC’ transmission grids. In an area like Europe, there are several potential benefits from building a ‘supergrid’ of highly-efficient HVDC transmission lines to link existing HVAC transmission grids (see electricity transmission grids). One of the most important benefits is that this kind of large-scale grid can make it much easier to match variable supplies with variable demands. For example, the wind may stop blowing in any one spot but it almost never stops blowing everywhere across a wide area like Europe. If there is a peak in demand in any one area, it can almost always be met from spare capacity in one or more other areas. Large-scale storage facilities, such as pumped-storage systems in Norway and the Alps, may be widely shared. Submarine HVDC transmission lines that have been laid between Norway and Denmark and between Norway and the Netherlands enable both pairs of countries to benefit in this way.
- Complementary sources of power……
- Power on demand. … . http://www.desertec-uk.org.uk/elec_eng/supply_demand.html
Roadmap for Solar Energy Development on Public Lands Released to Public Loan Safe.org, BY ALEX FERRERAS JULY 25, 2012 As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Department of the Interior, in partnership with the Department of Energy, will publish the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for solar energy
development in six southwestern states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.
The final Solar PEIS represents a major step forward in the permitting of utility-scale solar energy on public lands throughout the west.
Today’s announcement builds on the historic progress made in fostering renewable energy development on public lands. When President Obama took office, there were no solar projects permitted on public lands; since 2009, Interior has approved 17 utility-scale solar energy
projects that, when built, will produce nearly 5,900 megawatts of energy—enough to power approximately 1.8 million American homes.
Thanks to steps already taken by this administration, renewable energy from sources like wind and solar have doubled since the President took office…… Read more »
There are two main anti-wind farm groups in Australia busily fomenting anxiety and opposition. One is the Waubra Foundation, a group of mainly wealthy individuals, none of whom live in or near the town of Waubra, near Ballarat. Several of them, NIMBY style, have opposed turbines near their own properties elsewhere. They are led by an unregistered doctor, Sarah Laurie, and a wealthy mining investor, Peter Mitchell who also has connections to the Landscape Guardians. Despite their name, the Guardians have never attempted to guard our landscape from over-zealous residential developers, open cut coal or coal seam gas mining. They only target wind farm developments. All three – Waubra, the Guardians and Mitchell’s mining investment company share a South Melbourne post office box.
Wind turbine syndrome: a classic ‘communicated’ disease https://theconversation.edu.au/wind-turbine-syndrome-a-classic-communicated-disease-8318?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+20+July+2012&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+20+July+2012+CID_be7f8aff1000afd17cabaf558b629431&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Simon+Chapman+investigates At the beginning of this year I started collecting examples of health problems some people were attributing to wind turbine exposure. I had noticed a growing number of such claims on the internet and was curious about how many I could find. Within an hour or two I had found nearly 50 and today the number has grown to an astonishing 155. Read more »
the Japanese Wind Power Association has put the longer-term wind potential at over 200 GW, on and offshore, even taking account of locational constraints. That is similar to Japans total present energy generating capacity.
the aim would be to create a 50 trillion yen ($628 billion) green energy market by 2020 through deregulation and subsidies to promote development of renewable energy and low-emission cars.
Greening Japan’s energy http://environmentalresearchweb.org/blog/2012/07/greening-japans-energy.html 15 July 12 As part of its policy of moving away from nuclear power, the Japanese government is pushing ahead with renewables and improved energy efficiency. Given the urgent need to cut energy demand, following the shut down of all its nuclear plants in May, it encouraged voluntary energy saving initiatives, with some success.
Although, despite major protest, two nuclear plants have now been started up again, the summer air conditioning load may still present problems, and the energy savings programme is being expanded. The government has called for 15% cuts. It has also requested retailers and home appliance makers to voluntarily halt production and sale of inefficient incandescent lightbulbs. Under Japans existing basic energy plan, all lighting products were already meant to be replaced by LED or other low energy lights by 2020. Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics says that, if all incandescent bulbs/fluorescent lamps currently used were replaced by LED lights, the total annual power saved would be 9%, the equivalent output of 13 nuclear reactors. Read more »
Big News for Renewable Energy: FERC Rules for Wind, Solar, Storage, Forbes, 29 June 12 “.…. A year ago, Wellinghoff told me: “[North American Electric Reliability Corporation] projects in its 2010 Long-Term Reliability Assessment that approximately 60 percent of all new resources expected to be added to the bulk power system by 2019 will be new wind and solar resources.”
The FERC aims to remove regulatory barriers to ensure that all of these resources can get access the grid and play a competitive role in the energy markets. Read more »
How To Power A Continent With Wind And Solar http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3271 by Giles Parkinson, editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, 27 June 12 Of all the most ambitious renewable energy projects around the world, the European Desertec Industrial Initiative ranks right at the top- some would say fantastic in both the true and the modern sense of the word.The basic plan of Desertec is to harness the wind and solar power from north Africa and the Middle East and use it- along with similar resources from southern Europe- to help Europe cut 95 per cent of its emissions from its electricity grid by 2050, and to have renewables provide 90 per cent of its power needs.
A new report released by the initiative- which is a consortium of 21 industrial giants such as Siemens, E.ON, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Enel, and Shell- says this can be done, at the same time as reducing electricity costs and making the grid more stable than it would otherwise be.
The 2050 Desert Power report released late last week, co-authored by the Fraunhofer Institute, says that by importing 20 per cent of its energy needs from the Middle East and north Africa (MENA), Europe can save €33 billion a year, or €30 for each megawatt hour of imported electricity. Read more »
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