Energy Storage System Cost Benchmark

By Roger Caiazza – Re-Blogged From WUWT

One of the biggest issues with plans to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy is intermittency. At some point that can only be addressed by energy storage but tracking down those costs is difficult. I recently found a recently released report from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL): “2018 U.S. Utility-Scale Photovoltaics-Plus-Energy Storage System Cost Benchmark” that provides information that can be used to estimate the costs of the energy storage option.

According to the NREL summary, authors Fu and Margolis, along with fellow NREL researcher Timothy Remo, provide NREL’s first cost benchmarking of energy storage and PV-plus-storage systems. The abstract for the report states:

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #317

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

Hollow Models? The long writing career of British logician and philosopher Bertrand Russell covered a period of marked change in science. The term natural philosophy was giving way to the term physical science and extensive divisions were occurring into branches such as physics, chemistry, etc. Already, it had been shown that long-held beliefs needed continuing empirical verification. For example, European philosophers long held the view that knowledge can be logically deduced from generally held beliefs, or propositions, such as: all swans are white; if it is a swan, it is white. This logical view was broken when the premise was falsified with the discovery of black swans in Australia in 1697. The occurrence has been used to demonstrate that logic alone is not sufficient to demonstrate a proposition has meaning in the physical world (truth). [Stock market investor Nassim Nicholas Taleb developed an investment (speculation) strategy based on unlikely events, which has different meaning.]

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Serendipity Yields a Process to Convert Carbon Dioxide Directly Into Ethanol

[If this really works – WOW! -Bob]

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.,—In a new twist to waste-to-fuel technology, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol. Their finding, which involves nanofabrication and catalysis science, was serendipitous. Video follows.

“We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked,” said ORNL’s Adam Rondinone, lead author of the team’s study published in ChemistrySelect. “We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realized that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own.”

ORNL’s Yang Song (seated), Dale Hensley (standing left) and Adam Rondinone examine a carbon nanospike sample with a scanning electron microscope. (hi-res image)

Oil Price Prospects

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Crude oil prices have fallen from $100+ two years ago to around $37 today, after going under $30 briefly last month. Not surprisingly, there are differing views on the direction of prices going forward.

Lets look at where we are now.

The Shale Boom has catapulted the US to the top world producer spot, surpassing Saudi Arabia. This has greatly reduced US imports of oil and is a major contributor to the price break we’ve seen. As an aside, the US Balance of Payments has been much reduced by US Shale Oil production, even though the Deficit once again is running at over $500 Billion a year.

But, there are other factors greatly affecting the supply-demand balance for oil.

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Underwater Balloons – a New Idea in Energy Storage?

By Eric Worrall – Re-blogge From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Hydrostor has created an interesting innovation in energy storage. The energy is stored as compressed air, in giant underwater balloons.

Hydrostor’s system works in several steps. Electricity is run through a compressor and converted into compressed air. This compressed air is then sent underwater.

“There, we have a whole series of what are effectively balloons, that fill… like lungs under a lake,” he added.

“They fill with air, and when they’re full you stop charging the system and it can sit there indefinitely. When you want power back, again, a valve opens … air comes rushing out, we run through a low pressure turbine called a turbo expander, and that reproduces power back to the grid.”

Energy storage is becoming increasingly important. In the United States, the Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability states that the development of technology to store electricity so it’s available on whenever it’s needed would be a “major breakthrough in electricity distribution.”

Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/12/09/underwater-balloons-clean-energy-savior.html

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #186

The Week That Was: July 4, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Loyal Opposition: One of the most humanely compelling criticisms of the thinking exhibited by the pontifical academies that went into the Pope’s recent encyclical, Laudato Si’ (Praised Be), was “The Pontifical Academies’ Broken Moral Compass,” written by Indur Goklany and published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Goklany’s 2007 book, The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet is a classic on the improving human condition – largely attributable to the use of fossil fuels. Goklany’s book and his analysis of the pope’s encyclical is data driven – not model driven, unlike the thinking of the pontifical academies that relies on forecasts from inadequately tested, non-valid climate models.

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