While renewable energy is openly embraced by many in the world there are plenty who are willing to heap criticisms upon the many facets of the energy type. One of the most common forms of criticism for types of renewable energy like solar, wind, or tidal and wave based energies is that the power source is unpredictable and never constant, meaning that any area utilizing renewable (more…)
As Argonne National Laboratory Director Eric D. Isaacs noted in his recent Huffpo op ed, the U.S. must have a 21st-century energy grid if clean, renewable energy technologies like solar are to thrive.
Chinese company BYD will bring its electric and plug-in vehicles to North America in 2011 as one part of a threefold strategy for exporting technology. BYD’s first plug-in car, the F3DM, has arrived in California where it will be used in a pilot project by the Los Angeles Housing Authority. The F3DM has 40-60 miles of electric range and 300 miles of gasoline range, and in a unique (more…)
On September 30, California’s Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 2514 into law, which sets mandatory targets for energy storage systems in the utility sector. Groups such as the California Energy Storage Alliance have been working hard to promote this bill, the first of its kind.
Energy storage is being championed as (more…)
A reader points out that in talking about utility scale solar, only mature technologies are used — usually 20 to 30 years mature or more. He observes how long it’s taken PV to be seriously considered for plants over 10mW. But he goes on to talk about the Stirling Dish System, noticing that the system holds the efficiency world record for sun to grid electricity at 31.5%, and has (more…)
With all the talk about lithium ion batteries, and the unprecedented investment occurring in this area, it is easy to forget the most prevalent utility-scale energy storage technology, pumped hydro. Pumped hydro is the most mature and largest storage technology available. Worldwide, there are over 150 pumped hydro facilities with a total capacity of over 100 GW. In the United States, there are 38 pumped hydro facilities (more…)
Given the intermittent nature of wind and solar, it is becoming increasingly clear that these technologies need a side-kick known as energy storage in order to get the full value of these renewable sources. Energy storage allows electricity produced by wind and solar, during off peak demand times, to be better matched when the electricity is needed. A major driver of growth of both the wind and solar industries has been favorable tax credit treatment. Acknowledging this fact, Congress has been working on game changing legislation aimed at the energy storage industry. On July 20, U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced The Storage Technology of Renewable and Green Energy Act of 2010 Act (STORAGE Act 2010 – S. 3617) revision to the Storage Act introduced in 2009.
There are signs that 2010 could be the coming out party for Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES). With the onslaught of large wind and solar deployments that will be added to the grid to meet state renewable portfolio standards requirements, there is a lot of buzz about the need for energy storage systems, particularly bulk energy storage. Bulk (more…)
One significant trend in the electric utility market that is beginning to gather momentum is residential energy storage (RES). Like many renewable initiatives, California is the trailblazing state for RES. In 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law the so-called California Solar Initiative. The plan calls for a million solar roofs which will add 3 gigawatts of clean (more…)