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Shale Oil Revolution Continues

April 7, 2015

Companies in the United States who are drilling for shale oil have had to respond to the sudden low price of oil.

Saudi Arabia decided to maintain production rather than cut production to maintain the price of oil, and this has sent the price of oil plummeting.

The reasons for this change in tactics are unclear. Some have said it was to force the curtailment of shale oil development.

Another reason could be their desire to minimize the amount of money Iran can receive from its oil if the nuclear negotiations result in the lifting of sanctions.

Whatever the reason, companies involved in shale oil development have had to scramble to stay alive.

Initially, these companies took four actions:

  • Reduced new drilling investments to save cash
  • Shifted drilling activities to each area’s sweet spot
  • Delayed finishing wells to save cash and store oil in the ground
  • Reduced service and supplier costs

Now they are pursuing new techniques that will improve the amount of oil they can obtain from their wells.

Chart from EIA

Chart from EIA

Their entrepreneurial spirit, an American trait, has turned the tide from possible disaster to an improving future.

The sudden drop in oil prices can be seen as a blessing in disguise.

As usual, the peak oil theorists have been proven wrong again.

As recently as late last year, they were bemoaning the supposed shrinking of sweet spots, the rapid decline in production rates, and predicting the demise of shale oil development.

Radical environmentalists who have railed against fracking may achieve some short term prohibitions, such as the fracking regulations issued by the Interior Department for Federal Lands, but fracking is here to stay because it’s important to America.

The continued march towards energy independence is strategically important, even vital to the United States, when the dangers in the Middle East are fully understood. Saudi Arabia, the other Gulf oil producers, such as Qatar and the UAE, and Egypt, are being surrounded by ISIS and Iranian surrogates.

Here are two new developments that will, over the long term, improve shale oil production.

Until now, parallel horizontal wells have been kept a thousand feet or more from existing wells.

Now, horizontal wells are being drilled only 500 feet from existing parallel wells. This alone will increase the output from shale formations.

Wells are also being stimulated by refracking, which opens new fractures and extends existing fractures in the shale, thereby restoring production levels.

It’s been estimated that only 8% of the available oil within two or three hundred feet of a horizontal well, is being extracted.

Both these new techniques will increase the amount of recoverable oil.

Other experiments are taking place.

One of these is the use of coated propants rather than sand alone. Resin-coated sand that expands after lodging in fractures helps to keep fractures open, and by expanding after reaching the farthest point in the fracture helps to maximize the fractures size.

The entrepreneurial spirit of America’s shale oil drilling companies will keep the shale oil revolution alive. Ultimately shale oil and natural gas development using fracking will proceed worldwide.

Everyone around the world will benefit from developing these fossil fuel resources.

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Rooftop Solar is Harmful, Part 2

April 3, 2015

The previous article showed how people are sponging off the grid with PV rooftop solar systems.

The claim is frequently made that fossil fuels get more subsidies than do renewables.

Like so many claims made by advocates for wind and solar, it’s also bogus.

Actually, the subsidies received by renewables have been far greater in recent years than those received by fossil fuels. See, The Big Untruth,

Perhaps the biggest untruth with respect to energy is that fossil fuels receive huge subsidies, while wind and solar receive few if any subsidies.

A report providing data on subsidies was produced by the Congressional Budget Office on March 13, 2013.

Testimony given to the House of Representatives included the following chart that provides a clearer picture of where tax preferences, i.e., subsidies, have been applied.

Chart from Congressional Budget Office Testimony to Congress

Chart from Congressional Budget Office Testimony to Congress

From 1977 until 1987, fossil fuels received large subsidies because of the oil embargo and efforts by the United States to achieve energy independence. For the next 18 years there were far fewer subsidies for either fossil fuels or renewables.

Beginning in 2006, subsidies increased substantially, and from 2008 to the present, renewables have received far larger subsidies than fossil fuels.

This puts to rest the idea that wind and solar should get subsidies, because they already do, and the subsidies renewables get are very large … much, much larger than are received by fossil fuels.

This doesn’t address whether wind and solar should get subsidies. The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for wind and solar is between two to four times higher than for natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants. Subsidies for wind and solar require tax payers to pay twice: First by using taxpayer money for subsidies, second by forcing tax payers to pay higher prices for electricity.

Then there is the argument that everyone benefits from PV rooftop solar.

This is the most specious argument of all.

There are two ideas supporting this argument.

First, wind and solar eliminate CO2 emissions. This is only beneficial if CO2 emissions are the cause of global warming, which they probably aren’t.

Second, it’s been claimed, inaccurately, that PV rooftop solar means lower energy prices for all.

This was put forth in a Renewable Energy World.com article, Rooftop Solar Capacity Benefits all Ratepayers.

The source of this claim appears to have been an interview given by Sanford Bernstein & Co.

But the interview pertained to wind and utility scale solar installations … NOT PV rooftop solar.

The crux of the Sanford Bernstein comments was that utility scale wind and solar lowered the price of electricity in wholesale markets.

The comments didn’t pertain to PV rooftop solar, yet the article claiming everyone benefitted form PV rooftop solar assumed they did.

Whether this was deliberate, or an honest error isn’t clear.

In Germany, wind and solar must be dispatched ahead of electricity from any other source. As long as the wind is blowing and the sun is shining fossil fuels are shut out of the market.

Grid operators in the United States in wholesale markets, such as PJM and ERCOT, require utilities to offer their electricity into the day-ahead market at their variable cost of production.

For renewable generators, the variable cost of production is zero.

Utilities who generate electricity using fossil fuels are therefore shut out of the wholesale market as long as wind and solar generated electricity is available.

PV rooftop solar isn’t involved in theses auctions.

PV rooftop solar has nothing to do with these wholesale auctions. Inferring they do is wrong and misleading.

Since some electricity from utilities using wind or solar is bid into the system at lower variable cost, total costs for consumers are theoretically lower. But the LCOEs of wind and solar, as they relate to the total market, are still higher.

Technically speaking, the Sanford Bernstein statement is correct, but it only applies to a small part of the total electricity market, which for PJM includes, wholesale, regulated, capacity, financial transmission and ancillary services.

Claims that PV rooftop solar lowers the price of electricity for everyone are bogus.

Another misleading claim is that PV rooftop solar reduces peak demand on the grid.

While it’s a possibility at a few locations, it’s been shown that peak demand generally occurs later in the day than when PV rooftop solar power is at its peak output. In other words, maximum PV rooftop solar output is typically out of phase with peak demand. It should be noted conditions favorable to PV rooftop solar affecting peak demand would realistically only occur in the summer when the air-conditioning load is great.

Could there be other creative uses for PV solar?

Some enterprising individuals may be able to install low-cost solar panels on a solar-tree or clothesline like structure in their back yard to offset some of the higher cost electricity during peak periods, if prices vary by the hour of the day. But this entrepreneurial activity, providing there are no subsidies or net metering involved, won’t seriously affect the grid. It’s akin to homeowners reducing their use of electricity during peak periods by washing the dishes at night.

For an interesting look at Going (Solar) Rogue see, http://bit.ly/1BGFkMz. However, Going Rogue focuses on small, low cost, backyard kits, and not $20,000 PV solar installations. It also ignores areas where insolation and cloud cover are unfavorable, which includes most areas north of the Mason-Dixon line.

If people want to install PV rooftop solar with the necessary batteries, and disconnect from the grid, they should be allowed to do so.

But saving the grid is important.

People living in cities such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, etc., can’t use PV rooftop solar. Most roofs in big cities aren’t large enough to provide electricity for everyone in an apartment building, and many rooftops are shaded by adjacent buildings.

People living in cities must, for the most part, rely on the grid to bring electricity to them, whether the electricity is from wind turbines located in Montana, or from concentrating or PV solar generating facilities owned by the local utility.

Advocates of wind and utility based solar should oppose PV rooftop solar and net metering paying residential rates.

The phony claims concerning PV rooftop solar are mostly made by extreme environmentalists because of their demand that CO2 emissions be cut.

Extreme environmentalists attack the Koch brothers, and others who can factually refute their claims.

These two articles have addressed the importance of the grid and why PV rooftop solar could destroy the grid or force the government to take it over. In another two weeks Hucksters Pitching PV rooftop solar, and leasing of PV rooftop solar systems will be addressed.

Extreme environmentalists are in favor of big government controlling all aspects of energy production and usage, in part, to cut CO2 emissions.

For the rest of us? Be careful what you wish for.

 

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© Power For USA, 2010 – 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rooftop Solar is Harmful, Part 1

March 31, 2015

Recent activity on the Internet has tried to turn this fact on its head.

While it’s not unexpected that supporters of PV rooftop solar would attempt to turn the facts upside down, the addition of a Tea Party activist to the group supporting PV rooftop solar makes news.

Debbie Dooley, reportedly a founding member of the national Tea Party, and a member of Conservatives for Energy, supports the Florida ballot initiative called Floridians for Solar Choice.

The Floridians for Solar Choice web site says, “Giving Floridians a Voice and a Choice on Energy.”

As expected, the left has grabbed this misguided revolt by a tea party member to exploit her in its campaign for more PV rooftop solar at taxpayer expense.

An article in Grist capitalized on the situation by calling for a “Green Tea Coalition.”

Rather than seeking an impossible dream, these Don Quixotes are proposing a nightmare.

Don Quixote and his sidekick Sancho Panza after Titling at Windmill. By Gustave Dore.

Don Quixote and his sidekick Sancho Panza after Titling at Windmill. By Gustave Dore.

Here is some of the misleading information about PV rooftop solar found on the Internet:

  • People should be free to add PV rooftop solar
  • Utilities are against competition, because it hurts their profits
  • It means lower peak-hour energy prices
  • It’s the Koch brothers who are against PV rooftop solar
  • Fossil fuels get subsidies, why shouldn’t wind and solar?
  • Everyone benefits from PV rooftop solar

These are misleading, inaccurate or just plain wrong.

For example, no owner of a single family home is prevented from installing a PV rooftop solar system.

Any such homeowner can install a PV rooftop solar system and then disconnect their home from the grid.

What the Don Quixotes are actually objecting to is having to buy batteries to provide storage for electricity needed at night or when the sun doesn’t shine. They probably will have to buy enough batteries to last for a week or more for when the weather is bad.

Everyone has the freedom to install PV rooftop solar, it’s just they don’t want to buy batteries. They want to keep sponging off the grid instead.

So the freedom argument is bogus, as is the argument that utilities don’t want competition.

The grid has value, and it’s the cost of buying batteries to store electricity for an extended period of time that, in part at least, establishes the economic value of the grid to homeowners.

It’s true, painfully true, the profitability of utilities will be hurt with PV rooftop solar.

And this is a problem that should concern everyone, because utilities are needed to maintain the grid, and provide electricity to all who want it, at the lowest possible cost.

Germany is living proof that wind and solar can destroy the system that’s based on utilities providing electricity to everyone. Consumers in Germany pay five times as much for electricity as we do in the United States.

Because of energiewende, German utilities are trying to dispose of their fossil fuel assets, which is likely to result in the government having to take over the grid. See, The Bell Tolls and Watching Germany’s Endangered Utilities.

At the core of the problem in the United Sates is that the vast majority of owners of PV rooftop solar installations don’t pay for their use of the grid.

This is especially true with net metering, where utilities must pay to participate in their own destruction.

PV rooftop solar installations can allow homeowners to sell surplus electricity to the grid, in many cases taking advantage of net metering.

Net metering requires the utility to pay the same price for electricity sold to the grid by homeowners, as homeowners pay when they buy electricity from the utility.

If the homeowner pays 12 cents per kWh for the electricity he uses from the grid, he will, with most net metering laws, be paid 12 cents per kWh for the electricity he sells to the grid.

This forces the utility to pay twice as much for electricity as it would cost the utility to generate the electricity itself. For example, the utility would pay the homeowner 12 cents per kWh for electricity it could generate for 5 cents per kWh.

If a restaurant (utility) could grow vegetables in its back yard at a very low cost, should it be forced to buy vegetables from someone else at a high price?

This is what net metering forces utilities to do.

In addition, homeowners with PV rooftop solar installations aren’t paying their fair share of the maintenance and capital costs of the transmission and distribution lines, including all the transformers, cut-outs, regulators, capacitors and switchgear contained in substations and along the power lines.

If the homeowner generates all the electricity he uses, and doesn’t buy electricity from the grid, and then sells electricity to the grid over the utility’s distribution and transmission lines, he isn’t paying anything for the maintenance or other costs of those lines and the infrastructure associated with them.

If the homeowner didn’t have batteries for storage, he might buy some electricity at night and during bad weather, but the amount he pays would be a pittance compared with the actual infrastructure costs incurred by the utility for the power lines used by the homeowner.

The result? Homeowners don’t pay for using the grid while getting paid an excessive amount for the electricity they sell to the grid.

PV rooftop solar is like a cancer eating away at the heart of the utility system.

So long as there are only a very small number of PV rooftop solar installations, the cancer can be tolerated.

But if most people had PV rooftop solar, the utilities wouldn’t be able to survive, which is the situation evolving in Germany.

And what about subsidies, and the claim that everyone benefits from PV rooftop solar?

See Part 2.

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© Power For USA, 2010 – 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Is Tesla Gigafactory a Bad Investment?

March 27, 2015

Let the battle begin.

It pits liquid filled Lithium-ion batteries against solid state Lithium batteries.

The Department of Energy has established a goal of $125/kWh for EV batteries.

Currently, many cite the rating of current EV batteries as being around $400/kWh.

However, reports place Tesla’s current battery at $260/kWh, with the proposed giga factory bringing the cost down to $185/kWh by 2018.

These costs are very difficult to nail down, because there’s both the cost of the internal battery components, but also the cost of the packaging required for encasing Lithium-ion batteries using liquids or gels.

There’s also the question of whether the cost is a commercial cost, i.e., with overhead and profit included, or a transfer cost that excludes portions of overhead and any profit.

It’s conceivable that Tesla will use a transfer cost when costing the battery for inclusion in the finished cost of the automobile.

But, it’s reasonable to assume that the gigafactory will bring the commercial cost down, perhaps to around $200/kWh by 2018, assuming the current cost is $260/kWh.

At $200 per kWh the cost of the battery for the existing and proposed Tesla vehicles would be:

  • Model S = $17,000
  • Model 3 = $11,000 (Assumes 55 kWh battery)

These both assume a range of over 200 miles.

Looming on the horizon, however, is the solid-state Lithium battery.

There are a number of startups that are pursuing solid-state technology that eliminate the liquid or gel that’s part of existing Lithium-ion batteries.

A few of these include:

  • Solid Power in Colorado
  • University of Maryland
  • Sakti3

Applied Materials manufactures the equipment that these startups will use for the manufacture of solid-state Lithium batteries, and they have additional information on the process.

Sakti3 has received considerable publicity, but all of them are still working at the laboratory level.

Even so, Sakti3 claims it can reach a cost of $125/kWh using its approach.

Evolution of Battery Technology from Materials 360 Online

Evolution of Battery Technology from Materials 360 Online

A battery costing $125/kWh could make EVs more affordable, though there are still major hurdles before EVs are likely to replace the internal combustion engine.

Not the least of which is the cost of replacing batteries. The battery of an EV using a 55 kWh battery would cost around $7,000. This battery would have to be replaced at some point, perhaps at 100,000 miles, and possibly sooner.

This would be similar to taking your car to the dealer to have the engine replaced. The process may be simpler, but the financial obligation remains.

This is a cost that will be factored into the resale price and depreciation of EVs that will be a hurdle for some consumers.

But, why did Elon Musk decide to use the existing Lithium-ion battery technology for his gigafactory and not the solid state technology?

Many say that Musk is a better promoter than was P. T. Barnum, but it’s doubtful Musk is a fool.

Musk undoubtedly explored the new solid state technology before deciding to use existing battery technology.

The current status of the solid state technology must have been such that it wouldn’t be ready by 2018.

Beyond that, Musk should have wanted to get at least a minimum return on his investment in the giga battery factory.

Optimistically, he might have expected a five year payback, but more likely he would have expected a ten-year payback.

Using these assumptions, it would appear that the earliest a solid state battery would be commercially available would be 2023, or more likely 2028.

Musk must have concluded that he would be first to market with a less costly, but not least costly, Lithium-ion battery, and that by using existing Lithium-ion technology he would establish Tesla as the premier EV car manufacturer.

And, there’s no assurance that sold state Lithium batteries will be successful in bringing their cost below what Musk envisions.

But that doesn’t mean that Musk hasn’t been overly optimistic.

He expects the giga battery factory will supply 500,000 EV cars beginning around 2020.

That could be a huge mistake.

At the current rate, it’s very doubtful that EV sales will reach 500,000 by 2020.

He is also counting on his arrangement with SolarCity to absorb some of the gigafactories output.

It’s possible, however, that California’s mandate for energy storage could save Musk from bankruptcy.

The irony is, that even if 500,000 EVs are sold every year, they will not cut CO2 emissions since the electricity for recharging batteries will have mostly been generated using fossil fuels.

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Can Wind and Solar be Useful?

March 24, 2015

There are certain areas around the world where wind and solar can be economically useful.

While so-called clean energy is a ruse in the United States and Europe to cut CO2 emissions, there are places where wind and solar can make a real contribution.

Primarily they fall into three categories.

  • Islands lacking oil, natural gas or coal
  • Isolated locations, remote from the grid
  • Countries where natural resources can be better used for generating income

Many islands around the world have had to rely on diesel generators for power generation.

This has generally required the importation of expensive diesel fuel.

Some larger islands, such as Malta and Aruba, have used steam-driven power plants, but this has required the importation of expensive oil. In a few instances, natural gas has been imported for use with gas turbines.

Valletta, Malta, Photo by D. Dears

Valletta, Malta, Photo by D. Dears

Consumers on these islands have paid 50 cents or more per kWh for electricity, or five times what the average American pays. On Pacific Islands, the cost has been as high as $1.00 per kWh.

This affords wind and solar an opportunity to lower the cost of electricity on islands, large and small, which can benefit all who live there.

Even if wind and solar generated electricity cost 11 cents per kWh, or 30 cents per kWh respectively, they can lower the cost of electricity on these islands.

Hawaii may be able to make good use of both wind and solar, which is far different from the remaining states where the motivation isn’t economic, but rather to cut CO2 emissions.

Included in the second category are situations where solar can provide power for remotely located instrumentation, data collection, signs, etc.

In the third instance there are countries where installing concentrating solar power plants can be economically viable.

Saudi Arabia, together with some Gulf countries, is considering the installation of concentrating solar power plants (CSP). They are projecting that CSP will reduce their use of oil for generating electricity, thereby freeing the oil for export at a large profit.

These countries are considering, and in fact, have started building nuclear power plants for similar reasons.

Some countries with mining operations, such as Chili, are considering the use of CSP to augment power generation which is often done locally due to the mines being located far from the grid.

Common sense, good judgment and sound economics should be the basis for deciding when and where, wind and solar should be used.

Even on islands where solar and wind may make some sense, they can only augment, not replace, fossil fuels.

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Dramatic and Misleading Fear Tactics

March 20, 2015

Here is a statement from a highly recognized and leading environmental author:

“We are depleting the world’s supply of oxygen by burning vast quantities of fossil fuels.”

Here is another statement, made in 1971:

“The only genuine solution to the food problem is population control.”

And finally:

“We must rapidly bring the world population under control, reducing the growth rate to zero and eventually making it go negative.”

At the core of his writing is his statement:

“The world is running out of vital resources, and the American economic system must adjust to this reality.”

Why is it extremists always claim the world is running out of resources and that the free market economy must be changed?

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, the international body seeking to establish a treaty on climate change similar to the failed Kyoto treaty, said:

“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history. This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for the, at least, 150 years, since the industrial revolution.” Emphasis added.

Which of course, means abolishing the free market, capitalist system.

This Malthusian thinking must somehow be inculcated into the minds of extremists, or perhaps it merely represents an approach to propaganda designed to scare people so they will support the extremists’ agenda.

A currently fashionable scare story claims sea levels will rise 20 feet, flooding much of Florida and leaving New York City underwater.

The premise for this scare story is that Greenland’s glaciers or the Western Antarctic ice sheet will melt, but neither of these melted when temperatures were as high as, or higher than today, during the Medieval Warm period 1,000 years ago, or the Roman Warm period 1,000 years earlier.

Why would they melt today, when they didn’t melt during these two warm periods?

The proponents of this scare story don’t answer the question because it doesn’t fit their agenda.

The National Geographic magazine also touted this scare story in a lengthy article using hurricane Sandy to enhance the scariness of the supposed threat.

It didn’t matter that the National Geographic article omitted mentioning that New York City would have incurred similar damage in 1938 if that hurricane had hit 60 miles farther west from where it made landfall on Long Island.

Sensational Cover Showing Statue Of Liberty Being Submerged by the Sea

Sensational Cover Showing Statue Of Liberty Being Submerged by the Sea

There is no question sea levels have risen about 8 inches every hundred years, but to claim they will rise 6 feet, as did the National Geographic, or 20 feet, as did Al Gore, is pure speculation designed to scare people.

In 2007 the IPCC predicted the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, eliminating drinking water for millions of people in Asia.

But, like so many scare stories, this one was shown to be false, and the IPCC admitted to publishing inaccurate information.

Can anyone say with absolute certainty that the Population Bomb won’t explode, or that an eruption on the sun, with the resulting electromagnetic storm, won’t destroy the grid?

Of course not.

Which is why scare stories have such appeal.

Scare stories make headlines. Factual information is dull.

Would this make the news?

“Over 300 million people enjoy having low-cost electricity at their fingertips.”

The best way to combat scare stories is with knowledge.

The Himalayan scare story was snuffed-out with knowledge.

The movie, An Inconvenient Truth, claimed the snows on top of Mount Kilimanjaro were disappearing due to global warming.

Knowledge disabused the claim by establishing that temperatures didn’t get above 32 degrees F, and that the loss of snow was due to sublimation.

Extreme claims, especially by those predicting disaster, need to be tested, using knowledge and common sense.

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The Quest for Storing Electricity

March 17, 2015

It’s generally accepted that wind and solar require storage if they are to be utilized on the grid without the very expensive cost of back-up power, such as from gas turbines.

California has issued a mandate requiring the addition of 1.3 GW of energy storage to the grid by 2020. In October 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) mandated that 200 MW of this goal come in the form of energy storage installed in individual buildings and homes.

California is not alone in recognizing the necessity for storage to support renewables, such as wind and solar.

California can force the adoption of storage no matter what the cost, but is this good for consumers? Does it establish a bad precedent for the country? And is it realistic?

The latest information suggests that only batteries have the possibility of creating large amounts of storage in the near future. Of all the storage installed during 2014, 70% used Lithium-ion batteries, according to GTM Research.

Other alternatives, except for pumped storage, are more pie-in-the sky ideas, or have limited applications.

Even pumped storage is unrealistic unless a reservoir is already in place.

Pumped storage requires building a dam, and there are only a limited number of locations for new reservoirs. Dams are expensive, and are usually objected to by radical environmentalists.

Some of the remaining alternatives include:

  • Hydrogen, produced from electricity when it isn’t needed on the grid, which can be used to power a gas turbine to generate electricity.
  • Compressed Air (CAES), where air is compressed using electricity when it isn’t needed by the grid.
  • Ice, where electricity is used to run a refrigerator to produce ice, which, when it melts, can return the energy to run a generator.
  • Other heat storage, such as salt beds, to store heat for use later, to run a turbine to generate electricity. Salt beds and concrete have been used for concentrating solar projects.
  • Flywheels where electricity is stored as kinetic energy in a spinning rotor, primarily for frequency correction, a special type of requirement.
Huntorf, Germany, CAES plant. Photo from DOE.

Huntorf, Germany, CAES plant. Photo from DOE.

While PV rooftop solar is being extolled by activists, most homeowners don’t want to spend the money for batteries that would allow them to disconnect from the grid.

Homeowners with PV rooftop solar want to sponge off the grid to save money, and to provide backup for when the sun doesn’t shine.

According to GTM research, 90% of all storage in 2014, was installed by utilities.

GTM also predicts that storage, based on size, will more than triple in 2015, compared with 2014.

This large increase is primarily due to California’s mandate requiring the installation of storage.

Little thought is being given to the environmental impact of manufacturing and disposing of batteries, which are the only realistic method for providing storage.

From available data, the installed cost of storage is $2,100 per KW.

This is twice the cost of building a new natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plant.

The NGCC power plant is also superior to batteries because it can provide electricity for long periods of time, not for just a few hours.

It also doesn’t have to be replaced after a few years, as do batteries. With batteries, the $2,100 / KW cost must be incurred every time they are replaced.

Storage to support wind and solar is fundamentally unrealistic and expensive, and bad for consumers.

Essentially, the only reason for incurring the cost of storage is to help cut CO2 emissions.

 

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