What exactly is wrong with renewables, and why aren’t we all-green already? Subsidy abuse and insufficient economic viability in the face of cheap oil are two of the most common criticisms thrown at the renewable industry.
These, however, are nothing compared to the biggest challenge that the green energy industry has encountered: the impossibility to store power produced—at least not in an affordable and reliable enough way.
This is about to change as a growing number of companies – from leading utilities such as E.ON and GE to startups like California-based Stem – are working on developing cheaper energy storage solutions aimed at eliminating a challenge that’s been putting a spoke in the wheels of renewable energy for decades.
Sensing which way the winds are blowing, some utilities and energy industry majors have not wasted time entering this promising segment. Total bought into Stem last year and acquired French energy storage systems maker Saft. Earlier this month, GE announced the acquisition of a stake in Germany’s Sonnen, a successful peer of Saft.
This M&A activity is paralleled by a flurry of studies and surveys, all pointing to the game-changing potential of energy storage solutions. Bloomberg’s latest New Energy Outlook, for example, notes that the constantly declining cost of lithium-ion batteries, thanks to the rise of electric vehicles, will play a leading role for the wider adoption of renewable energy solutions. Related: How Far From An Electric World Are We?
Then there is this survey by Navigant Research, which has projected that by 2025, the overall size of installed energy storage systems (ESS) will reach 21.6 GW, from 1.1 GW this year. That’s a huge increase—driven mainly by the Asia-Pacific. Navigant Research explains that ESS and renewable energy adoption are reinforcing demand for one another: the more renewable energy is being produced, the greater the need for reliable ESS, and the more widely available these ESS, the greater the demand for renewable energy becomes.
Another study, from the MIT, has looked into the various types of ESSs and has found that regardless of type, they make for a good investment right now. Lead author Jessika Trancik notes that prices still have further to fall to boost ESS attractiveness, but they are already offering a reasonable level of profitability. Related: Oil Refining Capacity Set To Surge, But Can It Boost Oil Prices?
Finally, S&P has published a report recognizing the importance of energy storage systems for the future adoption of renewable energy across the world, in keeping with a target for an overall 45 percent share of renewables in the energy mix by 2030. The report notes that ESS capacity must reach 150 GW by that year if the adoption target is to be achieved.
Meanwhile, in Big Oil, Shell has tentatively recognized the need for diversification into renewables. CEO Ben van Beurden has cautioned investors that this diversification will have to be done slowly to avoid hurting profits, while Exxon and Chevron have bluntly refused to acknowledge the importance of climate change and the necessity to take action to counter it. Oil and gas may be “here to stay” but, apparently, not indefinitely, however unappealing this prospect may be for John Watson and Rex Tillerson.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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We don't need more of the same inefficient machines, we need to chuck the crap, quit commuting 2 hrs to work, and start over.
If you did know the difference then you would know that the statement "the overall size of installed energy storage systems (ESS) will reach 21.6 GW, from 1.1 GW this year" tells me nothing, and actually makes no sense.
Shouldn't people who propound on energy at least know the difference between power and energy??
Saddam, Qadaffy, and Chavez all sold gasoline for less than $.25/gal. Any more is a tax. Twelve mpg vehicles is a Rockefeller tax. Killing and stifling over 5,000 free energy patents is a monopolistic tax. The Nazi's built UFO craft and not a single one had a gas tank. We have been enslaved by those that stole our access to technology.
They won't release ANY tech in which they CANNOT control .
Board members sit on each other boards , and you say there is NOT a conspiracy .
Inventors are slaughtered and the earth's people don't care .
Stanley meyer , Ogle , and a whole host of others .
So, there is ZERO chance that mass energy storage will become a reality.
It also wastes time.
We have storage/load shift &reduction strategies and systems and have had for years.
These work-keep working and have compelling paybacks.
So why continue to subsidize tapeworms? Even when they wrap themselves in opera capes and fly to Davos -proclaiming themselves vampires?
Whether or not a crapmobile rolls down a road powered by batteries or infernal combustion,is not as important as the fact that overall 98% of the heat in the fuel its powered by via battery charge or/and engine is wasted. Which has being the case since the 1920's.
This isn't an accident.
Housing- Self chilling (passive); 1940's. Self heating(and cooling, passive);1980's.
Why don't all or most dwellings since do this? Stupidity convenient to the holders of mortgages on the pieces of crap(stucco tajmahals) that don't. Who are wise bankers who never need bailing out. Ho ho.
P.S.-despite the not just hasbra purge of the interweb and archives-references to back up all of these contentions are yet(in limited form) available.
What if every new home and office building and factory were built with this technology? Very small amounts of solar and the recycling of waste heat would heat the whole country. It is very cost effective to retrofit old buildings. This was covered in the University's book on the subject in 1978.
Instead of spending trillions looking for and retrieving new forms of energy, we could use less without changing our lifestyle.
Back in 1980 an engineer I knew in CT built a post and beam home from a kit from a company in Vermont. He put 4" of high-R foam with foil backing on both sides all around the exterior of the timber frame. Sheetrock went on the inside. Cedar siding on top of plywood went on the outside. He could not find a woodstove small enough. They all required him to open windows. He ended up using electric baseboard heat. He said the house needed so little heat that a toaster in each room would have been more than enough. One small window A/C cooled the entire downstairs. An air-to-air heat exchanger pulled stale, humid air from the kitchen and bathrooms and reclaimed the heat/cooling before being exhausted.
It's not sexy or new so nobody will do it.
Assume you run a business that is charged on a demand billing system with your local utility and you decide to buy storage without renewables (solar or wind) in order to reduce your demand charge, because the demand portion of your bill costs more (in some cases a lot more) than your energy charge. You need to know both the flow rate from the battery and how long it will last at that--or a lower--flow rate in order for the purchase to be properly evaluated.
For those who don't favor renewable energy (RE), don't diss the merits of battery storage because of the link to RE. Once the costs for batteries come down, retailers and installers will figure out how to integrate storage into energy management systems.
For those who simply have a bias against RE, at least you should become current about the actual costs for , which have come down dramatically over the last few years.
your article paints a very false picture of world energy storage as it misses 99% of the story. Currently energy storage is dominated by pumped hydro electric storage plants which with a combined maximum output of approximately 127GW and an energy storage capacity of 740TWh provide 99% of our world's installed energy storage capability. In comparison batteries are a very minor addition. Equally importantly batteries do not provide the grid stabilization inherent in the heavy synchronous generators installed in pumped hydro plants. An electricity grid requires a minimum level of inertia provided by synchronous rotating machines in order to maintain frequency stability. As more non-synchronous sources of power supply such as wind turbines, batteries, and HVDC interconnectors are added, the requirement for inertia provided by synchronous rotating machines remains, and without this inertia, the grid collapses into black-out.
1) climate is not constant and no one says it is
2) green movement is where international communists made their home. For them people are pests who must be supervised by their elite politburo.
Wheels are supposed to have spokes. So, putting spokes in them is a good thing -- makes the wheels capable of going round and round.
I believe the desired expression here is "putting a stick in the spokes" because that breaks the spokes as they go round and round so they don't go round and round anymore.
But, alas, you can't lead a horse to water.