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Finishline42

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Member since: Thu Feb 28, 2008, 10:49 AM
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The price of electric car batteries has dropped 89% in 10 years

Economy of scale in action. New battery tech is also coming around. Check out QuantumScape Corp for solid state Lithium batteries.

The price of electric car batteries has dropped 89% in 10 years

A decade ago, a lithium-ion battery pack used in an electric car cost around $1,110 per kilowatt-hour. By this year, according to a new survey, the cost had fallen 89%, to $137 per kilowatt-hour. And by 2023, the cost is likely to fall far enough that car companies can make and sell mass-market electric vehicles (EVs) at the same cost as cars running on fossil fuels.

“If you look at the remarkable cost reduction over the last decade, and what’s expected over the next few years, and pair that with escalating policy measures in Europe and expected in the U.S. and China, then you have this very powerful combination of factors to underpin EV uptake, starting now,” says Logan Goldie-Scot, head of clean power at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who did the survey. “They will continue and accelerate over the next few years.”

snip


After purchase, EVs are already cheaper to operate than traditional cars, both because they require less maintenance and because electricity is cheaper than fuel. Today, some luxury EVs are already at price parity with their luxury gas counterparts, according to Goldie-Scot, but cheaper batteries will make that true more broadly without any subsidies. New innovations in battery technology will make costs drop even further.


snip

From the perspective of climate change, it’s necessary to reach the tipping point on the price of electric cars quickly, because cars stay on the road for years. In the U.S., transportation is now the largest source of emissions. “Even if 100% of vehicles sold were EVs, it would take over a decade to replace all the cars on the road, or even 50% of the cars on the road,” Kamath says. “So this is a long haul and a gradual evolution at the same time.”


https://www.fastcompany.com/90586803/the-price-of-electric-car-batteries-has-dropped-89-in-10-years?partner=rss&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss

Solar power booms in Texas

Story behind a paywall at WSJ. This is all I was able to cut and paste.

Solar Power Booms in Texas

The state, a leader in wind energy, will be home to the nation’s largest solar farm, part of an expected surge in development


Wind power made Texas the leading renewable-energy producer in the U.S. Now solar is fast catching up.

Invenergy LLC broke ground this year on a $1.6 billion solar farm northeast of Dallas that is expected to be the largest in the country upon completion in 2023. AT&T Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are among the large corporations that have contracted to purchase power from the project, which will span more than 13,000 football fields and supply enough electricity to power 300,000 homes.

It is part of a growing number of solar projects in sunny, land-rich Texas, where experts long predicted solar farms would bloom. Solar-farm development in Texas is expected to accelerate in the coming years as generation costs fall and power demand grows. That growth puts it on track to claim a much larger share of a power market dominated by wind farms and natural-gas power plants.

Invenergy has developed wind farms in west and central Texas, but the solar project is its first one in the state. Ted Romaine, the company’s senior vice president of origination, said that unlike wind, which often peaks at night, Texas solar has the potential to boost electricity supplies when daytime demand is highest.

“Solar is the natural next step in a state like Texas,” Mr. Romaine said.


https://www.wsj.com/articles/solar-power-booms-in-texas-11606579200
Posted by Finishline42 | Thu Dec 3, 2020, 02:55 PM (7 replies)

Electrify all US school buses by 2030

WRI scores grant from Bezos Earth Fund, hopes to electrify all US school buses by 2030

The Bezos Earth Fund has awarded a grant of $100 million, to be disbursed over a five-year period, to the World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization, for two separate climate initiatives. The first project is to develop a satellite-based monitoring system to improve monitoring of changes in land use and associated carbon emissions. The second is to accelerate the electrification of US school buses.

WRI is one of 16 groups that have received funds totaling $791 million from the Bezos Earth Fund.

School buses are an excellent candidate for electrification, as they drive predictable routes and return to central depots each day. Furthermore, they have significant downtime (many sit idle through much of the summer), making them a great potential resource for V2G applications. The kicker is that school districts, parents and policymakers tend to agree that freeing young children from breathing diesel smoke is a worthy goal.

There are over 450,000 school buses in the US, and WRI’s goal is to electrify them all by 2030. WRI will partner with local organizations with a history of working on transportation issues.

“We are grateful to the Bezos Earth Fund for this very generous gift to advance two game-changing climate initiatives at a time when they are urgently needed,” said WRI CEO Dr. Andrew Steer. “Building on our expertise and bringing together many partners, we will use these resources to accelerate transformative shifts in monitoring land use and carbon emissions and electrifying vehicles. These initiatives will cut emissions, create a healthier environment, spur economic opportunities, and improve the lives of millions of people in the United States and around the world.”


https://chargedevs.com/newswire/wri-scores-grant-from-bezos-earth-fund-hopes-to-electrify-all-us-school-buses-by-2030/

Replacing A Coal Plant Takes An Infinite Number Of Wind Turbines

Hate to spoil the article but this is why it takes an infinite number of windmills...

Coal generation also produces 84 kg of coal ash per MWh, so that coal plant produces about 265,000 tons of it a year. Wind generation doesn’t produce any coal ash, or indeed anything like it, so an infinite number of wind turbines would be required.

From the start...

Coal is going away. What will it take to replace all of the things it provides us with? An infinite number of wind turbines would be required to replace everything a coal plant gives us.

If it was just the electricity, only 120 to 350 modern wind turbines would be required, but that’s just the start.

These are averages and capacity factor-based. It’s an approximation. Capacity factor is the percentage of a year’s potential maximum generation that is actually achieved. If a generation unit could generate 100 MWh but actually generates 70 MWh — that’s a capacity factor of 70%. It’s based on a demand, market conditions, supply, maintenance, and the like.


As coal plants are shutting down, they’ve also been dropping in capacity factor, and now have an average of under 50%. We’ll use 50% as our capacity factor for coal.

In 2016, there were 381 coal plants with just under 800 generating units. The average coal plant was running around 720 MW of capacity. We’ll use 720 MW of capacity for coal as the basis.

720 MW of capacity running 24/7/365 with a capacity factor of 50% would generate about 3.15 TWh of electricity in a year.

The average capacity factor for modern wind turbines in the US is 41.9%. The average size of new wind turbines in the USA is 2.43 MW in capacity.

The first question is how many wind turbines would be required to generated 3.15 TWh of electricity.

3.15 TWh divided by 2.43 MW capacity divided by 24 hours divided by 365 days divided by a capacity factor of 41.9% gives us about 353 wind turbines.

So the first answer is that just over 350 wind turbines are required to replace a coal generation plant which likely has 2–3 generating units. That means that about 120–175 wind turbines are required to replace a single generating unit.

So far, so good. But coal plants do more than provide electricity. What else do they provide, and can wind turbines provide that too?


edited to add link to article - https://cleantechnica.com/2020/11/27/replacing-a-coal-plant-takes-an-infinite-number-of-wind-turbines/

The world's best solar power schemes now offer the "cheapest...electricity in history"

From IEA report

The world’s best solar power schemes now offer the “cheapest…electricity in history” with the technology cheaper than coal and gas in most major countries.

That is according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020. The 464-page outlook, published today by the IEA, also outlines the “extraordinarily turbulent” impact of coronavirus and the “highly uncertain” future of global energy use over the next two decades.

Reflecting this uncertainty, this year’s version of the highly influential annual outlook offers four “pathways” to 2040, all of which see a major rise in renewables. The IEA’s main scenario has 43% more solar output by 2040 than it expected in 2018, partly due to detailed new analysis showing that solar power is 20-50% cheaper than thought.

Despite a more rapid rise for renewables and a “structural” decline for coal, the IEA says it is too soon to declare a peak in global oil use, unless there is stronger climate action. Similarly, it says demand for gas could rise 30% by 2040, unless the policy response to global warming steps up.

This means that, while global CO2 emissions have effectively peaked, they are “far from the immediate peak and decline” needed to stabilise the climate. The IEA says achieving net-zero emissions will require “unprecedented” efforts from every part of the global economy, not just the power sector.

For the first time, the IEA includes detailed modeling of a 1.5C pathway that reaches global net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. It says individual behaviour change, such as working from home “three days a week”, would play an “essential” role in reaching this new “net-zero emissions by 2050 case” (NZE2050).


https://www.carbonbrief.org/solar-is-now-cheapest-electricity-in-history-confirms-iea

After Scotland Tour, Maine Hatches Offshore Floating Wind Turbines Plot

Floating windmills and green hydrogen

After Scotland Tour, Maine Hatches Offshore Floating Wind Turbines Plot

For those of you new to the topic, floating wind turbines are designed for water that is too deep for conventional platform construction. The US got a head start on floating wind turbine R&D during the Obama administration, but things stalled out after that.

Aside from political obstacles and potential conflicts with maritime commerce, floating wind turbines pose unique engineering challenges, which is why they have been popping up in some parts of the world but not others.

That leads to Maine, which has some of the deepest and most challenging waters for wind turbines, but also boasts sustained offshore wind speeds that are among the best in the world. According to one estimate, the state’s offshore wind resources could meet its existing electricity demand 36 times over.

With an eye on that prize, Maine policy makers have been supporting a public-private research collaboration through the University of Maine and a firm called Maine Aqua Ventus, which got an assist from the US Department of Energy back in 2015. That was quite an achievement, considering then-governor Paul LePage’s opposition to renewable energy development.

Last December CleanTechnica noted that Maine is already chock full of renewable energy, which leads one to question why should they take a risky bet on the as-yet untried floating wind turbine area.

Part of the answer may lie in that Scottish wind industry tour. Scotland has begun to leverage its powerful offshore wind industry to produce green hydrogen, and Maine has been eyeballing green hydrogen as a way to deliver more clean kilowatts despite some bottlenecks in its existing transmission system.

Just to spice the green hydrogen angle up a bit, Mitsubishi is involved in the Maine project, having acquired the newly dubbed firm New England Aqua Ventus through a joint venture with its Mitsubishi Renewables Diamond Offshore Wind subsidiary and the firm RWE Renewables. Mitsubishi is making a hard pivot into green hydrogen, so it will be interesting to see where that fits into Maine’s floating wind turbine scheme.

State policy makers may also be looking to position Maine’s offshore wind resources for energy export, deploying green hydrogen. Decarbonizing the state’s fishing industry could also be on the to-do list, considering recent activity in the hydrogen fuel cell watercraft field.


https://cleantechnica.com/2020/11/23/after-scotland-tour-maine-hatches-offshore-floating-wind-turbines-plot/

New record for a windmill

While a solar panel in a utility scale solar farm isn't much different than the one on my roof, windmills are quite different.

As the diameter of the blades doubles, the output is quadrupled. That is why they keep getting bigger.

GE Renewables has scored a new record with its Haliade-X offshore wind turbine prototype in the Netherlands, producing 312 megawatt-hours of electricity in a 24-hour period.

One spin of the turbine is enough to power a UK household for more than two days, said GE Renewable Energy.

The previous record was 288MWh in a single day, from the turbine following its uprating to 13MW.
The turbine features 107-metre long blades and a 220-metre rotor and will be able to generate 4% more annual energy production than the previous 12MW version of the prototype.

The blades, produced at LM Wind Power’s Cherbourg factory in France recently received component certification from TUV Nord.


https://renews.biz/64385/haliade-x-prototype-hits-new-output-record/

Nashville enters into plan to build 100 MW Solar farm

Cincinnati has a similar plan in the works. With as much electricity as the Federal govt uses shouldn't this be a way to combat Climate Change? Best part, it saves money long term (utility rate creep) and doesn't require large spending bills getting thru Congress.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s administration has entered a partnership with Nashville Electric Service (NES), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Vanderbilt University to construct 100 MW of utility-scale solar power under the TVA Green Invest program.

Vanderbilt will be a 25 MW co-subscriber to the solar array, thereby reaching their own 100% renewable-energy goal for campus operations. Metro-Nashville will be the first local government to pursue access to Green Invest in TVA territory.

On Metro’s and Vanderbilt’s behalf, TVA will contract with Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corp. to build a solar array in Tullahoma, Tenn. Silicon Ranch pioneered utility-scale solar power in the Tennessee Valley and is one of the largest independent solar power producers in the U.S. The company was selected through TVA’s 2020 competitive procurement process for construction of up to 200 MW of solar power on the Tullahoma site. There will be no fiscal impact on Metro’s operating budget until the fall of 2023 when construction of the array is expected to be complete.

“Not only will 100 MW of solar power help mitigate a changing climate by affordably and efficiently meeting Metro’s 2025 clean-energy goal, it also puts Tennesseans to work and provides cleaner air during a pandemic characterized by respiratory distress,” says Cooper. “This public-private partnership will serve as a model for NES’s other large customers to replicate. I challenge Nashville’s corporate sector and major institutions to consider TVA Green Invest as a smart way to prepare for what must be a greener future.”

Metro’s 100 MW of solar power will produce the clean-electricity with a 20-year power purchase agreement. By reducing harmful air pollution, Metro’s and Vanderbilt’s combined 125 MW of solar energy will result in $3 to $6.8 million dollars of health benefits across Tennessee. Silicon Ranch Corp. estimates the construction of the array will create 500 jobs.


https://solarindustrymag.com/mayor-cooper-enters-partnership-to-construct-100-mw-of-utility-scale-solar?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Tesla launches phase 3 of its virtual power plant, soon 4,000 homes will be connected with Powerwall

South Austrialia is a prime canidate for this program as they average $.36 per kWh.
https://www.canstarblue.com.au/electricity/electricity-costs-kwh/

Tesla is launching phase 3 of its massive virtual power plant in South Australia and confirmed that soon almost 4,000 homes with Powerwalls and solar will be connected to the system.

A virtual power plant consists of connecting several small distributed energy assets, like residential solar panel systems and home battery packs, and use them together to provide larger grid services.

With its Powerwall being a popular home energy storage system, Tesla has been an early adopter of the concept and planned to deploy it on a large scale in South Australia.

The project’s origin story is interesting.

It came around after Elon Musk visited South Australia following the launch of its giant battery system in the state.

Musk gave an interview during which he was informed of the significant hardship that Australia’s high electricity prices are putting on low-income families.

The region suffers from a very unstable grid and electricity costs are so high that some families have to decide between keeping the lights on or going hungry.

Visibly affected by the issue, Musk vowed that Tesla would “work harder” to help solve the problem.

A few months later, Tesla announced that it reached a deal with the South Australian government to install solar arrays and Powerwalls on up to 50,000 homes.

The deal was jeopardized after a new government was elected in the state a few weeks later, but they have since come around and confirmed that they will be moving forward with Tesla’s initiative as long as it is financed successfully.

A few months later, in July of 2018, Tesla deployed the first 100 Powerwalls with solar for the new virtual power plant and focused on reducing the cost of electricity for low-income households.

By the end of the year, the project moved to its second phase and Tesla started deploying 1,000 more systems as part of the virtual power plant.

While only a fraction of the total planned capacity of the virtual power plant has been deployed, they already started testing some grid services with the current system.

Earlier this year, the Australian Energy Market Operator, the agency behind the project, has released an in-depth insight report on the virtual power plant and it showed promising results to stabilize the grid while lowering electricity costs for participants.


Report at this link - https://electrek.co/2020/04/07/tesla-virtual-power-plant-powerwall-report/

Tesla is now Moving to Phase 3
Robyn Denholm, Tesla’s chairwoman who also happens to be Australian, announced that Tesla is moving to phase 3 of its virtual power plant:

“Tesla is taking the next step towards accelerating Australia’s transition to sustainable energy with the launch of phase three of the South Australia Virtual Power Plant (SA VPP), growing the program towards 50,000 South Australian homes”

Phase 3 will add another 3,000 homes to the system.

Denholm added:

“A growing number of Housing SA homes – soon to be 4000 – as well as private households via the Tesla Energy Plan are connected to the SA VPP and benefiting from the lowest priced electricity rate in the state while also contributing to a more resilient grid.”

Tesla is going to pay $18 million to deploy the battery and solar systems in phase 3.

The households will receive the systems at no cost and will pay for the electricity from them at a rate more than 20% lower than from the grid.

The South Australian government is contributing $10 million along with $8.2 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and a $30 million loan support from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The goal remain to eventually have 50,000 homes with Powerwalls and solar connected to the virtual power plant.
Posted by Finishline42 | Mon Sep 7, 2020, 07:59 AM (5 replies)

Alabama Public Service Commission Upholds and Increases 'Sun Tax' on Solar Power Users

Not the direction a Southern State should be taking, IMO. (Covers the southern part of Alabama, as TVA covers the northern part of AL).

At some point will it prove to be counter-productive to stopping Solar? Does the est $9,000 additional in fees over the life of the system actually provide an incentive towards the purchase of a Powerwall or equivalent and get off the grid entirely?

Energy regulators in Alabama voted Tuesday to uphold what critics have dubbed a "sun tax" on people who put solar panels on their homes and businesses across much of the state.

The Alabama Public Service Commission, which regulates the investor-owned Alabama Power Co., not only rejected a petition by the Southern Environmental Law Center to end the company's extra monthly fee for customers with their own solar systems, but raised that fee by 8 percent.

Alabama Power provides electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the southern two-thirds of the state, including the cities of Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile.

The Alabama Power solar fee is part of what clean-energy advocates have described as among the most regressive solar power policies in the country. Losing the decision after a two-year legal battle before an administrative law judge and the commission was a blow, said attorney Keith Johnston, who directs the law center's Alabama office.

snip

The utility has been charging a $5 per kilowatt monthly fee. For an average 5-kilowatt rooftop solar system, the fee results in an additional $300 charge per year, or approximately $9,000 over the life of the panels, slashing solar customers' average savings in half, the law center contends.

The new fee will be $5.41 per kilowatt monthly
.


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/01092020/alabama-public-service-commission-solar-sun-tax

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