Renewable Energy's $2.5 trillion problem




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Posted by Ed 6 mths ago
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.

Apair of 500-foot smokestacks rise from a natural-gas power plant on the harbor of Moss Landing, California, casting an industrial pall over the pretty seaside town.

If state regulators sign off, however, it could be the site of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery project by late 2020, helping to balance fluctuating wind and solar energy on the California grid.

The 300-megawatt facility is one of four giant lithium-ion storage projects that Pacific Gas and Electric, California’s largest utility, asked the California Public Utilities Commission to approve in late June. Collectively, they would add enough storage capacity to the grid to supply about 2,700 homes for a month (or to store about .0009 percent of the electricity the state uses each year).

The California projects are among a growing number of efforts around the world, including Tesla’s 100-megawatt battery array in South Australia, to build ever larger lithium-ion storage systems as prices decline and renewable generation increases. They’re fueling growing optimism that these giant batteries will allow wind and solar power to displace a growing share of fossil-fuel plants.


But there’s a problem with this rosy scenario:


https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611683/the-25-trillion-reason-we-cant-rely-on-batteries-to-clean-up-the-grid/

COMMENTS

Ed 6 mths ago
How much more electricity do we need to go to 100% electric vehicles?

As reported in Blowout week 146 the EU is drafting legislation to mandate the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in new homes while Germany and the Netherlands are considering legislation requiring that all cars and light vehicles sold after 2025 or 2030 must be 100% electric.

None of this legislation has as yet been approved, but if it is how much extra electricity will be needed to power the millions of EVs involved, and how much will it cost? I’ve seen no numbers on this, so in this post I present some, starting with Germany, the Netherlands and the EU and adding a few more countries – and the world – as we go.

Because of the uncertainties in the data and assumptions used the numbers should be considered as ball-park estimates only.

The World: An 18% increase in generation and a 30% increase in installed capacity, costing $5.0 trillion. These numbers increase to 26%, 44%, and $7.3 trillion if we assume that the number of vehicles in the world continues to grow at 2.7%/year through 2030.

https://s15.postimg.cc/r3ytxqdm3/temp.png


See country breakdowns and further details: http://euanmearns.com/how-much-more-electricity-do-we-need-to-go-to-100-electric-vehicles/

Ed 3 mths ago
https://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/euan-mearns-europe-electric-price.png

Ed 56 days ago
Why Wind Power Isn’t the Answer

As a new study confirms, turbines would have to be stacked across state-sized swaths of the American landscape.

On October 8, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report warning that nations around the world must cut their greenhouse-gas emissions drastically to reduce the possibility of catastrophic climate change. The report emphasizes “fast deployment of renewables like solar and wind” and largely ignores the essential role nuclear energy must play in any decarbonization effort.

Four days earlier, to much less fanfare, two Harvard researchers published a paper showing that trying to fuel our energy-intensive society solely with renewables would require cartoonish amounts of land.

How cartoonish?

Consider: meeting America’s current demand for electricity alone—not including gasoline or jet fuel, or the natural gas required for things like space heating and fertilizer production—would require covering a territory twice the size of California with wind turbines

https://www.city-journal.org/wind-power-is-not-the-answer

Ed 24 days ago
The cost of wind & solar power: batteries included

For some time now we here on Energy Matters have been harping on about the prohibitive costs of long-term battery storage.

Here, using two simplified examples, I quantify these costs. The results show that while batteries may be useful for fast-frequency response applications they increase the levelized costs of wind and solar electricity by a factor of ten or more when used for long-term – in particular seasonal – storage.

Obviously a commercial-scale storage technology much cheaper than batteries is going to be needed before the world’s electricity sector can transition to intermittent renewables.

The problem is that there isn’t one.

http://euanmearns.com/the-cost-of-wind-solar-power-batteries-included/


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