Mar. 23rd, 2009

webfarmer: (Default)
I still think compressed air is going to be the best near term bet but it's interesting to see other efforts underway too. Unfortunately the now mythical ERCOT story about how the failure of the wind almost generated a blackout in Texas is once again repeated. It was a relatively minor event with a two hour ramp down. The AICE study that says that only 15% renewables could be handled without storage is also at odds with other studies that say something around 20-25% is more the figure where it gets interesting. Denmark is already around 20% with no additional storage. They are working with IBM to use wind energy to store power in electric vehicles for transportation and for grid storage and regulation uses.

How Enormous Batteries Could Safeguard the Power Grid - CSMonitor.com - 22 Mar 09

"Without the ability to store massive amounts of energy, “renewable power can only be piggybacked onto the US grid to supply not more than 15 percent of the power at best,” the AICE study says. Yet the potential costs of building the storage necessary to allow renewable energy to expand to supply just 20 percent of US energy needs would be enormous – more than $340 billion to develop some 912 billion watt-hours of storage capacity, the AICE study found."

"Until recently, relatively little funding has flowed to grid-storage development. In 2007, the industry overall spent a relatively tiny $2 billion on energy storage at the utility level, according to a report last year by Climate Change Business Journal. That’s starting to change.

Before the recent financial crisis, venture investing in utility-energy storage had risen from about $300 million in 2004 to nearly $700 million in 2007, according to Lux Research, a market research company. 'It’s still an incredibly hot market right now,' says Brad Roberts, chairman of the Electricity Storage Association, a trade group in Morgan Hill, Calif. He expects at least $200 million in new federal funding to accelerate development that languished with just $4 million to $10 million annually over the last 10 years."

"Dr. Smyrl, federal researchers, and utility executives are looking at the same renewable storage problem in Luverne, Minn., where the nation’s first wind-to-battery setup is using a small wind farm to charge batteries that release that power onto the grid. These aren’t your ordinary flashlight batteries – but rather high-temperature, sodium-sulfur batteries the size of two semi-trailers that soak up 7.2 megawatt hours of power generated from seven nearby wind turbines owned by MinWind, a Minnesota wind-power developer."
webfarmer: (Default)
I still think compressed air is going to be the best near term bet but it's interesting to see other efforts underway too. Unfortunately the now mythical ERCOT story about how the failure of the wind almost generated a blackout in Texas is once again repeated. It was a relatively minor event with a two hour ramp down. The AICE study that says that only 15% renewables could be handled without storage is also at odds with other studies that say something around 20-25% is more the figure where it gets interesting. Denmark is already around 20% with no additional storage. They are working with IBM to use wind energy to store power in electric vehicles for transportation and for grid storage and regulation uses.

How Enormous Batteries Could Safeguard the Power Grid - CSMonitor.com - 22 Mar 09

"Without the ability to store massive amounts of energy, “renewable power can only be piggybacked onto the US grid to supply not more than 15 percent of the power at best,” the AICE study says. Yet the potential costs of building the storage necessary to allow renewable energy to expand to supply just 20 percent of US energy needs would be enormous – more than $340 billion to develop some 912 billion watt-hours of storage capacity, the AICE study found."

"Until recently, relatively little funding has flowed to grid-storage development. In 2007, the industry overall spent a relatively tiny $2 billion on energy storage at the utility level, according to a report last year by Climate Change Business Journal. That’s starting to change.

Before the recent financial crisis, venture investing in utility-energy storage had risen from about $300 million in 2004 to nearly $700 million in 2007, according to Lux Research, a market research company. 'It’s still an incredibly hot market right now,' says Brad Roberts, chairman of the Electricity Storage Association, a trade group in Morgan Hill, Calif. He expects at least $200 million in new federal funding to accelerate development that languished with just $4 million to $10 million annually over the last 10 years."

"Dr. Smyrl, federal researchers, and utility executives are looking at the same renewable storage problem in Luverne, Minn., where the nation’s first wind-to-battery setup is using a small wind farm to charge batteries that release that power onto the grid. These aren’t your ordinary flashlight batteries – but rather high-temperature, sodium-sulfur batteries the size of two semi-trailers that soak up 7.2 megawatt hours of power generated from seven nearby wind turbines owned by MinWind, a Minnesota wind-power developer."

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