Examines the case for government leadership in promoting the development of distributed grid connected energy storage, arguing that government leadership is necessary in order to kick start this very important component of the robust electric energy infrastructure that is in our nations best interest. The author also argues that doing so will bring down electric vehicle battery costs and help promote EV adoption rates, which are inhibited by high unit costs driven by battery prices.
This post looks at the message promoted by the gas industry that natural gas is the necessary complement to renewables such as solar and wind, because the latter are variable and thus need a backup power source that can quickly be brought on line. There are other and perhaps even better ways of addressing variability that also need looking at.
This post reports on the newly announced loan guarantees for the concentrated solar power (CSP) Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project that is to be built in Nevada. This kind of solar power, because it is paired with a molten salt thermal energy storage capacity has the ability to be a load following generation source that is somewhat insulated from intermittency issues as well. For large concentrated solar thermal energy this decoupling of the energy collection from electricity generation makes a lot of sense, because the molten salt is already being used as the working fluid that captures the sun’s heat.
This post looks at fifteen kinds of utility or grid scale energy storage solutions that are either in wide use or have significant potential to supply the energy storage capacity that will help make the grid both more efficient and more robust. These range from pumped hydro, which is by far the most prevalent form of energy storage at this scale to compressed air, thermal storage, advanced batteries, fuel cells and purely electric storage systems.
This post answers the recently much hyped focus on wind’s variability problem, quantifying it in clear cost terms that put it in perspective. The post helps clarify the differences between energy, capacity and the ancillary services surrounding ensuring capacity and goes on to answer some of the other related problems that have been alleged for wind energy as its penetration level increases.