Published on July 4, 2019 |
by Steve Hanley
4. July 2019 av Steve Hanley
It is quite clear that renewable energy is more than competitive with traditional energy sources such as coal, gas and nuclear power. Do you want proof? Watch under 2 cents a kWh 25 years ago PPA Los Angeles Department of Water and Power signed recently.
But we all know that the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow. To make matters worse, sometimes there is more renewable energy available than there is a demand for electricity. To solve both problems, the tools and renewable energy supplies depend more and more on batteries that store excess power for later use.
Such time-lapse strategies make renewable energy more dispatchable, which means it is available when demand demands, regardless of whether the sun is out or a breeze touching, but they have their limits. Typical battery storage installations today can provide power for a maximum of 2 to 4 hours. After that it lights up, quite literally.
Community Choices Aggregation
Nick Chaset is CEO of East Bay Community Energy, a community powerhouse that was formed in 2018. The goal is to buy cleaner power than the PG & E utility can deliver while keeping prices affordable and promoting well-paid jobs. According to Green Tech Media CCAs have taken millions of client accounts from California's major investor-owned tools.
Last week, Chaset signed an agreement with the city of Oakland to replace a fuel-powered peaker facility near the San Francisco Bay with a 20 megawatt, 80 megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery system. The question is what happens in Oakland after the new battery is drained of power at the end of four hours?
Chaset has some thoughts on that question and shared them with Green Tech Media . "Right now, there is still a great opportunity for the 4-hour investments [-duration] that we will continue to do," at the contract signed in Oakland. "What you see is in 2030 probably storage, 4- and 6-hour batteries, [that] gets you where you need [to be]."
A Wood Mackenzie study of four existing natural gas powered peaker plants found that a 6-hour battery could have handled 74% of actual peak operations in 2017. The remaining incidents were too long for batteries to handle.
The result is that the current available battery technology can probably take over a lot of the Peaker roll, GTM says, but not the bulk power function operated by larger combined cycle gas plants. At some point, pure resources will have to deliver greater amounts of power to demand for a long time, especially in the evenings as solar generation turns off.
"It's the 2030 to 2040 time frame where it's a little more challenging and we don't necessarily have the right solution yet identified," Chaset says. "Some might say it's pumped hydro. These are big investments. Yes, there is technological innovation, but it is mostly concrete and steel. "
Alternatives to batteries
Are there opportunities for energy storage other than lithium ion batteries? Yes, several actually. The Holy Grail of energy storage is not batteries that can store electricity for a few hours, days, even weeks. storage solutions that can capture and hold electrical energy for several months at a time.
It is more than time shifting, it is seasonally changing, so that electricity from hydropower plants produced in the spring when rivers and lakes are full or solar power generated in the bright summer days can be used In the winter.
Vanadium Power Batteries is an Opportunity Concentrated Sun is Another, Compressed Air is another area being tried, most recently on a part of an energy storage facility in Utah, then gravity storage ideas – use excess electricity to lift tongue weights high in the air, and use them for power generators when they return to earth later.Better batteries are some research groups joins in laboratories around the world.
Do Not Perfect Enemy of Good
Nick Chaset recognizes the changes that some of these alternative strategies can bring to energy markets, but feels the focus should remain on what is possible today. "My opinion is, let's not make the investment even if we don't need it," Chaset said. "Let's do the investments we know right now – it's really solar plus energy storage – and let the technological ecosystem evolve a little more to see what the winners and losers are."
"Frankly, it's about making lots of little play instead of a big bet, because there is a lot of effort – yes, it can work for you, but often it cannot, given the pace of technological change. While [with] many smaller games over time, you are like riding the wave of technological improvement, "he adds.
His approach involves uncertainty and it is really the process that has made humanity so far. Establish a goal. Make a plan to reach the goal, work the plan and notice if it is effective. Change the plan based on experience. Work the new plan. Change it accordingly. Foam, repeat ad infinitum .
"We demonstrate that we CCA is a significant part of that solution, on a scale," says Chaset. Just over a year after the launch of East Bay Community Energy, it is time to exceed the government's energy storage procurement mandate by a factor of four. That is impressive. It is popular to bash California, but look around to see if your state supports community context. If not, perhaps it is appropriate to ask your local officials why not?
We are in a race to perfect renewable energy before the Earth becomes a cinder. We need credible, realistic solutions, not harvestered schemes like geoengineering the upper atmosphere to expand the sun. One solution is to electrify everything – transport, heating and cooling, agriculture – and use renewable energy to drive it all. It will require efficient, long-term energy storage systems.
Lithium ion batteries may not be the perfect solution, but they are the best option currently available. They allow applications to consider closing thermal generation stations and not building new ones. It is an epic victory for the world and buys us time to get to what's next.
Tags: community election aggregate, East Bay community Energy, energy storage, renewable energy