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Cost of Solar Power to Drop 75% by 2020? US Military Embraces It

Cost of Solar Power to Drop 75% by 2020? US Military Embraces It
by Stuart Burns on AUGUST 20, 2013

Not one to shy away from overstatement, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is not a writer we would normally quote extensively; well-renowned as the Telegraph newspaper is, for which he frequently writes in the Business section, but his article last week on solar power trumping shale gas even had us sitting up and taking notice.

True, many of the figures quoted in his article come from firms involved in the solar industry and as such we can expect them to put a positive gloss on the numbers, but we wouldn’t count the US Energy Department to be biased and they are quoted as saying they expect the cost of solar power to fall by 75% between 2010 and 2020.

By then, average costs will have dropped to $1 per watt for big solar farms, $1.25 for offices and $1.50 for homes, achieving what the Telegraph terms the Holy Grail of grid parity with new coal and gas plants without further need for subsidies. That’s the crunch, isn’t it – the subsidies. But if we think subsidies in the US or UK have been high, consider Germany, early starter in the solar power race.

Households have been bled dry to subsidize solar power – around €100 billion or more has been frittered away on costly feed-in tariffs. In addition, German investors have lost their shirts on a string of solar ventures that have gone bankrupt, only to see the gains leaked out to copycat companies in China which are able to undercut German rivals in their own market with cheap labor and giveaway credit.

Still, that artificially created market has spurred investment around the world; even the US defense establishment is heavily involved, with Evans-Pritchard quoting a string of projects, each of which will help bring down costs and improve efficiencies....

Read More at http://agmetalminer.com/2013/08/20/cost-of-solar-power-to-drop-75-by-2020-us-military-embraces-it/
Copyright © 2013 MetalMiner


German energy giants pull plug on conventional power

German power company RWE is shutting six domestic plants and rival E.ON is threatening to relocate to Turkey as the sector tots up the cost of the government's energy policy turnaround.

...But the turnaround is depriving utilities, including market leaders RWE and E.ON, of massive profits from their atomic plants and turning their gas and coal-fired stations into loss-makers as they are sidelined by rival renewable sources of energy.

...Following the boom of solar power in recent years, nourished by generous subsidies, the capacity of renewable sources of energy is such that, if the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, Germany can actually do without its conventional power plants.

In the period from April to June, a number of RWE's plants were operating at less than 10 percent of capacity, said finance chief Guenther.

And with wholesale electricity prices at the current lows in Europe, that means substantial losses. That was the case with gas-fired plants until recently, but coal-fired generators are now barely profitable as well, he said....


Don't let anyone tell you things are not changing.

Nnads is a strong supporter of ALEC's agenda





A Nuclear Reactor Competitive with Natural Gas

A Nuclear Reactor Competitive with Natural Gas
General Atomics has applied for DOE funds to commercialize a nuclear reactor that could lower electricity costs by 40 percent.

A novel type of reactor could cut the cost of nuclear power by as much as 40 percent, making it far more competitive with fossil-fuel power plants. Designed by General Atomics, a San Diego–based company, the reactor could also be safer than existing reactors and reduce nuclear waste by 80 percent.

General Atomics has been working on the reactor for five years. Now it is trying to win several hundred million dollars in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, which the company says would be crucial to commercializing the technology. At least one other new design aims to substantially reduce the cost of nuclear power, but it’s from a startup with limited funding (see “Safer Nuclear Power, at Half the Price”).

In the United States, where natural gas is cheap, the main thing keeping utilities from building nuclear plants is their expense. While some other new reactor designs lower the up-front cost of nuclear power, they don’t necessarily lower electricity costs (see “Can Small Reactors Ignite a Nuclear Renaissance?”). Estimates from the Energy Information Administration suggest that if the General Atomics design cuts the cost of electricity by 40 percent as the company claims, new nuclear power plants would be economically competitive with natural-gas plants.

John Parmentola, senior vice president of the Energy Group at General Atomics, says the new reactor will be safer than many conventional ones. In the case of a power failure, it is designed to shut down and cool off without the need to continuously pump in coolant. This is accomplished in part by using ceramics that can withstand very high temperatures without melting...

Hold on MIT, you're doing it again - channelling the claims of the nuclear industry without a moment of critical thought.

From a link in the comments of the above article:
"...no engineering firm is proposing these well understood designs for mass production. The cost of naval small reactor power never becomes competitive, even if mass produced. And nuclear naval vessels dont have to worry about cooling water, making them structurally cheaper than these proposed new SMRs."

Small is Ugly – the case against Small Modular Reactors

Small is flexible. But it turns out that 180 to 250 MW of these new designs is not actually small. The obstacle Germany and other countries face as they move to increasingly renewable solutions is that these big point source power producers interfere with grid distribution, basically renewable electricity has to be routed around them. This is why the closer of reactors is so important in terms of building a real flexible renewables feed network of microgrids. Big reactors are a big problem for the grid, these small reactors are still big enuf to be a problem.

It is certainly possible that small reactors could be built in factories and shipped to sites nearly complete. It is not a coincidence that large reactors have been built for so long and in so many places around the world by so many different engineering firms with some of the highest paid executives and engineers in the world. I dont like them, but these are not stupid people.

There are huge fixed costs associated with getting reactors running at all. You need tremendous water supplies, large grid connections, waste and fuel handling facilities – there are favorable economies of scale to large reactors. The reason dozens of engineering firms in over 30 countries around the globe have built big reactors (and multiple units where ever they could) is not because they all made the same mistake, it is because to make this huge investment even begin to make sense you need to do it in a big way. It is unclear if the mass production savings of SMRs will offset the economy of scale advantages of current designs. And they certainly will not for the first handful of these SMRs.

The small reactors we find in nuclear military vessels produce electricity ridiculously high prices per kilowatt. This is why no engineering firm is proposing these well understood designs for mass production. The cost of naval small reactor power never becomes competitive, even if mass produced. And nuclear naval vessels dont have to worry about cooling water, making them structurally cheaper than these proposed new SMRs.

The energy mix argument is a throw away...

"seeking a buyer for its stake in the plant for three to four years, without success"

Doubts dampen S.C.’s nuclear future
Published: August 19, 2013
By RODDIE BURRIS — rburris@thestate.com

The hallmark of the future of nuclear power right now is uncertainty.

Utilities largely have backed off any rush to forge ahead in constructing the next generation of expensive, new nuclear reactor plants — even though they seemed plausible just a few years ago.

Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility in Moncks Corner, continues to try to divest itself of some portion of its 45 percent stake in two new reactors under construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, a $10 billion project.


Santee Cooper has been seeking a buyer for its stake in the plant for three to four years, without success....

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/08/19/2927964/doubts-dampen-scs-nuclear-future.html#storylink=cpy

Smaller, transportable nuclear reactor

The propaganda blitz is on by a sinking Nuclear Industry trying to salvage what they can from a nuclear "revival" that has fizzled and died. They pushed for access to public funds with falsehoods and distortions about the economic and safety performance of both their product and their renewable competition. Now that their lies have caught up with them, they are trying to shift away from what 10 years ago was unarguably the most economic approach to a different technology with a new set of lies.

Smaller, transportable nuclear reactor

Imagine a nuclear reactor the size of a school bus, built on an assembly line and delivered to operators on a flatbed truck.
This is General Atomics’ vision of a safer, more efficient fission machine that could go 30 years without refueling and reduce daunting startup and equipment costs that have plagued plants like the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
G.A., as it’s known in the business, believes it can deliver such a reactor and is jockeying to win some of the $452 million in development money being handed out by the U.S. Department of Energy....

Another similar article out today is here:
King: Nuclear power tries new reactor designs
You can build a car with three or four wheels, but mostly, you would want to do so with four for stability and marketplace acceptance. Basically, you need a wheel at each corner, after which you can do what you like. Flexibility comes in how you use the vehicle.
For nuclear power, the reverse of that truism applies. There are many, many ways of building a reactor and fueling it. But its purpose is singular: to make electricity. And making electricity is done in the time-honored way, using steam or gas to turn a turbine attached to a generator....

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/08/19/2924234/king-nuclear-power-tries-new-reactor.html#storylink=cpy

The failure of the current nuclear revival was accurately predicted by a number independent analysts. Among them the author of the report discussed in the press release below, Dr. Arjun Makhijani.


Reproduced in full with permission.
IEER REPORT: Small Modular Reactors a “Poor Bet” to Revive Failed Nuclear Renaissance in U.S.
$90 Billion in Initial Manufacturing Order Book Needed, Requiring Massive Involvement by the Chinese or Taxpayer-Backed Federal Subsidies; Major Implications Seen for Companies and SMR Test Sites in FL, MO, NC, OR, PA, SC, and TN.

A shift to “small modular reactors” (SMRs) is unlikely to breathe new life into the increasingly moribund U.S. nuclear power industry, since SMRs will likely require tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies or government purchase orders, create new reliability vulnerabilities, as well as serious concerns in relation to both safety and proliferation, according a report issued today by the nonprofit Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) think tank .

The IEER report has implications for SMR companies headquartered or with planned test sites in Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Titled “Light Water Designs of Small Modular Reactors: Facts and Analysis the IEER report focuses on light water reactor (LWR) SMR designs, the development and certification of which the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is already subsidizing at taxpayer expense. The four leading SMR designs are: mPower Reactor by Charlotte, NC-headquartered Babcock & Wilcox Company, which, in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority, could get from the DOE up to $226 million in federal funding, of which $79 million has been secured; Westinghouse Electric, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA., and now working with Missouri-based utility Ameren to secure DOE funding for design and certification of the Westinghouse SMR; Jupiter, FL-based Holtec, the subject of a DOE agreement for the construction of a Holtec SMR test unit at the Savannah River Site, a nuclear-weapon materials facility near Aiken, S.C. and NuScale Power, a Corvallis, OR. Company, which has signed an agreement with the DOE to build a NuScale Power SMR demonstration unit at the Savannah River Site.

Key conclusions of the IEER report include the following:

$90 billion manufacturing order book could be required for mass production of SMRs. As the report notes: “SMR proponents claim that small size will enable mass manufacturing in a factory and shipment to the site as an assembled unit, which will enable considerable savings in two ways. First, it would reduce onsite construction cost and time; second, mass manufacturing will make up in economies of volume production what is lost in economies of scale. In other words, modular reactors will be economical because they will be more like assembly-line cars than hand-made Lamborghinis … A hundred [mPower] reactors, each costing about $900 million, including construction costs … would amount to an order book of $90 billion, leaving aside the industry’s record of huge cost escalations. This would make the SMR assembly- line launch something like creating a new commercial airliner, say like Dreamliner or the Airbus 350 … SMRs will still present enormous financial risks, but that risk would be shifted from the reactor site to the supply chain and the assembly lines. Shifting from the present behemoths to smaller unit sizes is a financial risk shell game, not a reduction in risk.”

Who pays?: China or massive federal subsidies … or both. As the report notes, the industry’s forecast of relatively inexpensive individual SMRs is predicated on major orders and assembly line production. However, “China, where 28 reactors are under construction, already has a much better supply chain than the United States. So the U.S. government subsidies to B&W, TVA, and Westinghouse and others may pave the way for an assembly line in China! In fact, Westinghouse has already signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation ‘to develop an SMR based on Westinghouse SMR technology.’ .. The alternative to Chinese manufacture would be federal government subsidies to set up manufacturing in the United States.” Westinghouse has claimed that U.S. reactor orders would be sourced in the US – but would require two supply chains. Already, there is discussion of billions of dollars in additional federal subsidies for SMRs to do what the private marketplace will not.

SMRs will lose the economies of scale of large reactors. As the report notes: “Nuclear reactors are strongly sensitive to economies of scale: the cost per unit of capacity goes up as the size goes down. This is because the surface area per kilowatt of capacity, which dominates materials cost and much of the labor cost, goes up as reactor size is decreased. Similarly, the cost per kilowatt of secondary containment, as well as independent systems for control, instrumentation, and emergency management, increases as size decreases … For these reasons, the nuclear industry has historically built larger and larger reactors in an effort to benefit from economies of scale. The four designs would reduce the size of each reactor considerably: by a factor of five (Westinghouse) to a factor of 25 (NuScale) relative to the reactors now being built in Georgia and South Carolina. Such large size reductions imply significant increases in unit cost due to loss of economies of scale.” It is highly questionable whether mass manufacturing cost reduction can make up for the cost escalation caused by loss of economies of scale.

Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D., nuclear engineer and president, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, and author of the SMR report, said:

“SMRs are a poor bet to solve nuclear power’s problems and we see many troubling ways in which SMRs might actually make the nuclear power industry’s current woes even worse. SMRs are being promoted vigorously in the wake of the failure of the much-vaunted nuclear renaissance. But SMRs don’t actually reduce financial risk; they increase it, transferring it from the reactor purchaser to the manufacturing supply chain. Given that even the smaller risk of projects consisting of one or two large reactors is considered a ‘bet my company’ risk it is difficult to see that Wall Street would be interested in betting much larger sums on financing the SMR supply chain without firm orders. But those orders would not be forthcoming without a firm price, which cannot be established without a mass manufacturing supply chain. This indicates that only massive federal intervention with tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and orders could make mass-manufacturing of SMRs a reality in the United States.”

M.V. Ramana, Ph.D., Nuclear Futures Laboratory and Program on Science and Global Security, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, said:

“SMRs would likely increase proliferation risks. My colleagues at Princeton University and I analyzed the proliferation risks of SMRs of various kinds … and concluded that the proliferation risks would increase significantly unless specific design and safeguards steps were taken to mitigate them. Left unaddressed risk increases by about 45 percent compared to current light water reactors for an equivalent power capacity. This risk increase does not include the inspection problems attendant upon a larger geographic dispersal that may accompany small modular reactors. The safeguarding of the reactors and spent fuel would be a more difficult and complex task than with the large reactors of today.”

Dr. Makhijani added:

“Without huge federal subsidies, the SMR supply chain is likely to emerge in other countries, probably China, even if the designs are proven and tested in the United States. Why would China order large numbers of U.S. reactors when it can set up its own supply chain and can manufacture industrial goods more cheaply? It is fanciful and impractical to believe that SMRs can bring large numbers of industrial jobs to the United States in a globalized world economy governed by World Trade Organization rules. Efficiency improvements and wind-generated electricity, are already cheaper than new large reactors. On the other hand, commercialization of SMRs will require mass manufacturing facilities for the entire supply chain, which will take a decade or more, if there are sufficient orders. By that time, a distributed grid based on renewable energy is likely to be a reality, eliminating the need for a new generation of nuclear reactors large or small.”

Other key report findings include the following:

SMRs could reduce some safety risks but also create new ones, particularly if current reactor rules are relaxed. Key elements of SMRs would be underground. “These [safety] features [of SMRs] would reduce some risks. But they could create new problems as well. For instance, they could aggravate the problem of flooding … Safety improvements may be reduced because SMR proponents are already arguing for changes in regulations to reduce costs. For instance, the current mPower design would have just three personnel for operating for two reactors – an operator for each reactor and one supervisor overseeing them both. This raises serious safety questions – will three operating staff be able to adequately respond to and manage a serious accident? Reducing security requirements, the plant exclusion zone, and the 10-mile emergency planning zone are other industry regulatory goals for SMRs.”

It breaks, you bought it: No thought is evident on how to handle SMR recalls. “Millions of cars, presumably made to high quality control are routinely recalled. The most comparable example in terms of the size of the supply chain and overall order books for SMRs would be passenger aircraft. Boeing Dreamliners were presumably rigorously designed, tested, and certified before they entered into service. But battery failures, including a fire in flight resulted in a worldwide grounding of all the planes. How would a similar situation with SMRs be handled? Would they all be shut down pending resolution of an issue of comparable significance? What about grid stability, if SMRs supply almost 25 percent of the electricity by 2035 (as has been suggested).”

See the full report here. http://ieer.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/SmallModularReactors_Aug2013-final2.pdf

The nonprofit Institute for Energy and Environmental Research provides interested parties with understandable and accurate scientific and technical information on energy and environmental issues. IEER’s aim is to bring scientific excellence to public policy issues in order to promote the democratization of science and a safer, healthier environment.


Given the priority attached to the need for transitioning to a carbon free energy infrastructure, it's important to know what the most effective path to that goal is as charted by those who have no vested interest in promoting any given technology. To that end Dr. Makhijani's prescription is highly recommended reading.
Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free

The goal of the Carbon-Free Nuclear-Free project is to eliminate U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels by promoting a zero-CO2 economy in the U.S., and to and to lay out a roadmap to achieve this as soon as is technically and economically practical, without resorting to nuclear power. It will take an integrated and comprehensive solution, as the issues of climate change, nuclear weapons proliferation, and security of oil supplies are intimately connected.

The Nation: Fukushima’s Invisible Crisis

Fukushima’s Invisible Crisis
Don't expect coverage of Japan's nuclear power disaster on the evening news: Unlike other environmental catastrophes, Fukushima's ongoing crisis offers little to film.

Eric Ozawa August 19, 2013

A laboratory technician uses a Geiger counter to measure radiation in fish, which was caught close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, at Fukushima Agricultural Technology Center in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture, May 28, 2013. Reuters/Issei Kato.

On July 22, one day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party won control of Japan’s upper house of Parliament, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) revealed that contaminated groundwater from its Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was leaking into the Pacific Ocean. The head of the Soma-Futaba Fisheries Cooperative, Hiroyuki Sato, complained to the local paper, Fukushima Minpo, “TEPCO is saying that the pollution will stay inside the harbor, but the harbor is connected to the ocean, and the tide flows in and out. You can’t say there won’t be any impact. We want them to take action immediately.” The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations called the handling of the disclosure “a betrayal of the fishing industry and of the citizens of Japan.”

More than two years after the cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima plant is still in crisis. TEPCO still has no sufficient explanation for when the leaks began or why it waited until after the election to reveal them. Its assurances that the contamination is staying within the seawalls of the harbor are less convincing after weeks of assurances that there was no leak at all. The government has estimated that at least 300 tons of contaminated water are being released per day. TEPCO officials would not confirm the estimate.

This disclosure is only the latest in a series of well-documented problems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant: a power outage, the release of radioactive steam and the limited space to store the contaminated water (320,000 tons to date, with plans to build more tanks to hold up to 700,000 tons of radioactive water by 2015). The cycle is now familiar: first denials and delays, then admissions and apologies from TEPCO officials. In retrospect, the December 2011 declaration of the stable cold shutdown of the reactors has the ring of George W. Bush’s infamous “Mission Accomplished” speech in the early stages of the Iraq War.

Dale Klein, a former head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission invited to serve on TEPCO’s outside advisory committee, reacted to the latest revelation by excoriating the company’s executives: “These actions indicate that you don’t know what you are doing, and that you do not have a plan, and that you are not doing all you can to protect the environment and the people.” The editorial board of the major daily Asahi Shimbun declared it had “zero faith” in the “incompetent” utility, adding that “allowing the company to handle nuclear energy is simply out of the question.”

Earlier in the month...


British nuclear plant needs 90 years for decommissioning after 26 years in operation

British nuclear plant needs 90 years for decommissioning after 26 years in operation

GWYNEDD, Wales -- The Trawsfynydd Power Station in western Wales in Britain is one of the world's most advanced nuclear power plants when it comes to decommissioning work. It had two gas-cooled reactors with a combined output capacity of 235,000 kilowatts.

The operator of the power station started decommissioning the power plant in 1993. A senior official in charge of the decommissioning work says 99 percent of radioactive materials have been removed. But it will still take 70 more years for the operator to finish decommissioning the nuclear plant.

The Mainichi witnessed firsthand the ongoing decommissioning operation of the plant in Wales, which is taking a lot of time and at huge cost, and got a reminder of the tough road ahead for Japan to decommission the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Two concrete buildings cover the nuclear reactors in Wales, which sit by a manmade lake.

Magnox Ltd....


You must have been talking to Mr. Robinson etal

Oregon's GOP Chair Wants to Sprinkle Nuclear Waste From Airplanes
—By Tim Murphy| Fri Aug. 16, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

After months of in-fighting, the beleaguered Oregon Republican Party elected a new chairman last weekend. His name is Art Robinson, and he wants to sprinkle radioactive waste from airplanes to build up our resistance to degenerative illnesses. Robinson, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress against progressive Rep. Peter DeFazio in 2010 and 2012, took over after the previous chair resigned in advance of a recall campaign over her alleged financial mismanagement.

Robinson, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry, has marketed himself for the last three decades as an expert on everything from nuclear fallout to AIDS to climate science in the pages of a monthly newsletter, Access to Energy, which he published from his compound in the small town of Cave Junction. A quick glance at his writings, which were publicized during his ill-fated challenges to DeFazio, suggest that whatever the failings of the previous party leadership—Democrats now hold all statewide elected offices and control both houses of the state Legislature—Robinson brings with him a new set of challenges entirely.

On nuclear waste: "All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean—or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases." And: "If we could use it to enhance our own drinking water here in Oregon, where background radiation is low, it would hormetically enhance our resistance to degenerative diseases. Alas, this would be against the law."


U.S. nuclear plants vulnerable to terrorists

U.S. nuclear plants vulnerable to terrorists
NRC-licensed facilities found to be susceptible to theft of nuclear material, acts of sabotage


(Photo courtesy stock.xchng/gc85)
A new report from the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project has found that nuclear facilities across the U.S. are alarmingly vulnerable to acts of terrorism.

Commercial and research nuclear facilities across the U.S. are inadequately protected against the threat of terrorism, according to the results of new study released this week by the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project (NPPP) at the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs. The two biggest terror threats facing these facilities, according to the report, are the theft of bomb grade nuclear materials and sabotage attacks aimed at causing a nuclear reactor meltdown.

The study, entitled "Protecting U.S. Nuclear Facilities from Terrorist Attack: Re-assessing the Current 'Design Basis Threat' Approach," found not one of the 104 commercial nuclear reactors in the U.S. is protected against a "maximum credible terrorist attack," such as 9/11. In fact, nuclear facilities are not required to protect themselves against airplane attacks, assaults by large teams of terrorists or even high-power sniper rifles.

Some other items of concern highlighted in the report include:
Though some power plants are accessible by sea, they are not required to protect themselves against ship-borne attacks. These reactors include Diablo Canyon in Calif., St. Lucie in Fla., Brunswick in N.C., Surry in Va., Indian Point in N.Y., Millstone in Conn., Pilgrim in Mass., and the South Texas Project.
Three civilian research reactors fueled by bomb-grade uranium are vulnerable to theft and are not defended against a "posited terrorist threat." These reactors include the University of Missouri in Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore suburb of Gaithersburg.
According to report co-author Professor Alan J. Kuperman, Ph.D., the coordinator of the NPPP, the study came about after the Pentagon approached UT seeking to find out whether some of their nuclear facilities were under-protected or overprotected. Kuperman said the NPPP’s role was to assess the government’s reliance on the Design Basis Threat (DBT), which is used to establish requirements for protecting U.S. nuclear facilities. The report compares the DBT approach within and across three agencies – the Pentagon, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

"The Design Basis Threat varies not only between the agencies, but between facilities within each agency," Kuperman said in a press conference on Thursday...


Vehicle to Grid Demonstration Project

Vehicle to Grid Demonstration Project
DE-FC26-08NT01905 University of Delaware Newark, Delaware 19716
Willett Kempton, College Earth, Ocean, and Environment 302-831-0049, willett@udel.edu
Keith Decker, Li Liao Dept Computer & Information Sciences
Meryl Gardner, Michael Hidrue, Fouad Kamilev, Sachin Kamboj, Jon Lilley, Rodney McGee, George Parsons, Nat Pearre, Keith Trnka.
October 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010 7 May 2011

Executive summary
This report summarizes the activities and accomplishments of a two-year DOE-funded project on Grid-Integrated Vehicles (GIV) with vehicle to grid power (V2G). The project included several research and development components: an analysis of US driving patterns; an analysis of the market for EVs and V2G-capable EVs; development and testing of GIV components (in-car and in-EVSE); interconnect law and policy; and development and filing of patents. In addition, development activities included GIV manufacturing and licensing of technologies developed under this grant. Also, five vehicles were built and deployed, four for the fleet of the State of Delaware, plus one for the University of Delaware fleet.

Fundamental technical concept
In the United States, passenger vehicles are, on average, driven about 1 hour a day – the remaining 23 hours they are parked, most often either at home or at work. The average distance driven each day is around 30 miles. However, a typical electric vehicle (EV) has a range of about 100 miles, meaning that on most days, there would be around 70 miles worth of battery capacity left in the vehicle. Further, to perform adequately at highway speeds, electric vehicles require a drive train output of 100 kW. Thus, the vehicle electronics are already sized for power output at levels above standard AC vehicle connections. Thus, most vehicles are parked most of the time, and existing vehicle systems can draw or provide substantial power available to and from the grid.

A grid integrated vehicle (GIV) is an EV with built-in communication and control software that allows it to interact with the electric grid. A GIV with vehicle to grid capability (V2G) can additionally provide power from its battery, through its existing drive electronics, back to the grid. That is, GIV refers to control by the grid operator (of charging and/or discharging), V2G refers to the additional ability to discharge to the grid. An aggregated fleet of GIVs has the potential therefore to store a large amount of energy. If the entire US light vehicle fleet of 200 million vehicles were V2G-capable (at 15 kW per vehicle), then the total amount of power that could be provided would equal 3,000 GW. This amount is three times the current US generation capacity (1,000 GW) and six times the country’s load (450 GW). This project developed, built, and tested vehicles with both GIV and V2G capability, as the latter is more challenging for both technical, standards, and OEM comfort reasons. The systems and regulatory systems tested here can be used for either GIV with charging capability only, or for GIV with V2G.

GIVs provide storage at the low-voltage end of the distribution system. A 15 kW grid connection and a per vehicle storage capacity of 30 kWh means that GIVs are only capable of short discharges/charges and are thus better suited to capacity markets – not providing baseload power. However, given that GIV is a secondary use of customer equipment (the primary use of course being transportation) means that a GIV system would have very low capital costs – essentially just the on-board GIV control and communication equipment, currently around $400. The operating cost for such a system is the payment to the drivers as an incentive to remain plugged in, plus compensation for any additional battery wear. We estimate that payment for incremental equipment and compensation for wear (not including driver incentive nor management and operations), for an EV with a 15 kW connection and a 30 kWh storage capability, the capacity cost would be $27/kW and the storage cost $13/kWh. Both figures are at least an order of magnitude less than purpose-built battery storage systems. The capacity cost (per kW) is two orders of magnitude less than any known utility-scale energy storage system (including CAES and pumped hydro).

Download 21 page report: http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/1053603/1053603.pdf
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