"Now why would I want to hang the batteries on the wall ? The batteries have to be one central wired-in system or I'm not interested."
While centralized energy storage is a viable and soon will be an economical solution as a replacement for peaker plants but they capture only half of the potential savings. If the battery is located at the customer site, it not only replaces the peak generation capacity but the peak transmission capacity which is also a major cost driver. And for customers who own solar, on site storage will prove more valuable as net metering is replaced with less generous compensation for their excess PV production.
Your understanding about batteries is outdated. Here is another article on the subject:
Energy storage at utility scale just got a $100M vote of confidence from one of the world's largest utilities.
NextEra Energy wants to be "the largest, most profitable clean energy provider in the United States," according to Jim Robo, CEO of the utility giant, at an analyst conference at Wolfe Research in New York on Tuesday.
But Robo also said, "We're starting to make very good progress in our energy storage business," noting that energy storage is one of "three growth platforms" at NextEra.
When a player like NextEra Energy, a Fortune 200 firm with utility revenues of $17 billion and 44,900 megawatts of generating capacity, starts to tout energy storage, the utility industry and the renewables industry take notice. “Battery storage is the holy grail of the renewables business,” said the CEO, adding, “If we can deliver firm power to renewable customers at a cost-effective rate, you’ll see renewables explode even faster than they already are.”
“This has the potential to be an extremely big market"
According to the CEO, "We're going to deploy probably $100 million in [energy storage] projects in the next 12 months in places like PJM, California and Arizona."
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These projects will mostly be for frequency regulation, but there's also a 4-hour project being deployed next year and an R&D project with storage "deployed at substations to drive reliability." Robo noted that energy storage "isn't going to be just to firm renewables." He suggested it will be used in a variety of applications such as "reliability purposes and transmission avoidance."
Robo said that he and his team expect energy storage prices to experience a similar cost plunge to that of solar costs over the last seven years. If that happens, energy storage will be competitive with gas peaker plants.
Robo said, "Post-2020, there may never be another peaker built in the United States -- very likely you'll be just building energy storage instead."
"It is a great time to be in the renewables business," said Robo, adding that he also believes the wind production tax credit will be extended.
NextEra is one of the leading producer of wind and solar power in the world. So, it's worth noting when NextEra's CEO says, "I want to be the leader in energy storage in the country."
Everything I have read indicates that prices should continue at that rate of decline for at least the next five years. Electric storage batteries and Photovoltaics are two DERs (distributed energy resources) that are each individually highly disruptive technologies to the traditional power industries that are both becoming competitive at about the same time. As these two technologies will have a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship, each enabling more of the other, it will give the power utilities and merchant generators a one-two punch that will send them sprawling for quite some time.
Merchant generators will come under pressure, and to a lesser extent regulated utilities, as the expanded use of lithium ion technology puts pressure on demand charges and capacity. A new report from Moody's Investor Services predicts the trend will occur first in areas with high demand charges and pro-storage regulatory initiatives, then spreading as battery prices continue to fall.
Prices have dropped about 50% in the last five years, meaning commercial and industrial applications will become economical if the trend continues.
"New York City stands out as the most promising economic market for peak-shaving because of its high demand charges, followed by California, Hawaii and the northeastern states," said Moody's Vice President Swami Venkataraman, the lead author of the report. "Current battery prices are only about 20-25% greater than breakeven levels for peak-shaving applications in New York City."
Battery applications would economically include peak shaving and the integration of renewables. Other uses, like grid-based storage, "are less economically viable and, most likely, will need to initially rely on contracts with utilities," Moody's said. Grid modernization proceedings, such as New York's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy, will be "critical to increasing volume growth that will eventually lead to further battery price declines."
Moody's predicted that in the long term, merchant generators like Calpine, NRG Energy and Dynegy could face lower prices for their capacity if large customers begin turning to storage for their peak usage. Regulated utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Hawaiian Electric and Consolidated Edison of New York could also be impacted, but to a lesser extent.
"Peak shaving will lower power bills for commercial and industrial customers, which will lead to regulated utilities shifting costs from battery customers to non-battery customers to recoup the revenue losses", Venkataraman said. "But grid storage also represents a potential investment opportunity for regulated utilities".
On Renewable Energy World there is a blog with the same title as this thread authored by Stewart Taggart. This blog is clearly the author's opinion of what should happen (and no doubt many would agree with him), not what the decision makers in Hawaii are currently proposing.
Clearly Hawaii is at the vanguard of a renewable dominant energy system that will point the way for others, for the reasons the author points out, but I think the real question is, will this new system be dominated by centralized vs. distributed energy assets. The "Hydrogen Battery" for energy storage, as he recommends is clearly in the category of centralized energy assets, where as systems like the Tesla power wall are of the distributed energy asset kind. If energy production/distribution remains primarily centralized, then hydrogen can be the cornerstone of a renewable energy future. If however the energy markets evolve into a more distributed model, hydrogen will be more of a secondary storage option. Only time will tell but it will be interesting to watch. Keep your eyes focused on what happens in Hawaii.
" While the hydrogen powered vehicle has an electric powered drive train like other electric cars, unlike the others, it relies solely on hydrogen to produce that energy, not electricity from an already overstressed or environmentally unsustainable electric grid."
For a good read on what ails the grid (or more accurately the electric utilities) and what New York is doing to try and fix it, read the article on Vox titled "New York's revolutionary plan to remake its power utilities"
Have you checked out the curb weight of the Toyota Mirai FCV? A big PHEV-SUV with a 50 mile plug-in range will weigh considerably less than a big FCV-SUV and still be able to deliver the average SUV owner 85-90 % of their miles in EV only mode. If weight is the primary determining factor here, the PHEV wins.
Hi all. I just wanted to note that in one week's time, both SolarCity and Panasonic have announced new PV panels, using n-type silicon mono-crystal cells, with panel efficiencies that best any of SunPower's (long the efficiency leader) panels.
Also worth noting is that SolarCity claims that their panels, once their Buffalo, NY factory is in full production in early 2017, will cost on the order of $0.55/Wp. That is only slightly higher than the lowest cost p-type multi-crystal PV panels from China. If so, given that they are 33% more efficient (so will have lower BOS costs) and n-type Si cells have a higher kWh/kW production (nearly as high as that of a-Si) compared to p-type Si cells, these panels will blow the China panels out of the water in terms of LCOE per kWh.
SolarCity has started producing solar panels from the old Solindra factory with an efficiency of as high as 22.04%. They claim that when at full capacity in early 2017 their panels will be almost as low cost as the much lower efficient panels from China. They also claim these high efficiency panels will reduce installed prices by 20%, just enough to offset the loss of the ITC.
Yeah, in the WSJ article about Japan's hydrogen Olympics plan, it was talking about them getting their hydrogen from Australian coal. A hydrogen economy, if the hydrogen comes from fossil fuels, is neither green nor sustainable. The world should focus first on expanding renewable sources of electricity and biofuels, and only after renewable hydrogen becomes economical, expand its use.
Can you see in your mind’s eye the vision of a “Hydrogen Society” and myriad future hydrogen fuel cell vehicles all running clean on electricity?
Toyota can, and while its Mirai was just born practically yesterday, the automaker is talking about it having offspring beyond the four-passenger, four-door $57,500 sedan presently offered only in select California markets.
According to an interview with Autocar, chief Mirai engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka said the Mirai could “procreate” a family of vehicles.
What kind of vehicles? Tanaka would not specify, but a “well-informed” source Autocar cited “confirmed” under consideration are a station wagon, hatchback, minivan and SUV.
In other words, the beginnings of a Toyota FCV fleet as Honda and Hyundai, Daimler, and others make further moves toward hydrogen as well.
The lead engineer said Toyota has made great progress so far. A fuel cell in 2008, for example, weighed 238 pounds and produced 121 horsepower. Today the production version weighs 123 pounds and makes 153 horsepower.
Tanaka concede however the vehicles do not rely primarily on renewably sourced hydrogen, and there is not a cost-effective way yet to do it.
The goal is to get there, and Tanaka estimated 10-20 years form today for fuel cell vehicles to ramp up like hybrids did from the late 90s onward.
There aren't many markets that overlap for Imergy's flow batteries and Ballard's fuel cells but it looks like remote telecom may be one of them. Ballard needs to light a fire under their partners in this market or Imergy and Juno Capital might just steal their thunder.
Flow-battery builder Imergy Power Systems is working with China's Juno Capital to develop energy storage and backup power for China’s telecommunications market. This phase is a pilot program looking to replace diesel backup at remote telecom equipment sites with vanadium redox batteries.
The Juno Capital Group is an investment company based in Beijing "specializing in bringing financing" and "assisting the cleantech partner to establish a strong strategic foothold in the Chinese market." Juno intends to integrate the flow battery with renewable energy for "off- and weak-grid telecommunications installations across China."
SunEdison has pledged to buy up to 1,000 of Imergy's 30-kilowatt flow batteries as part of its goal of bringing power to 20 million people by 2020.
Bill Watkins is the CEO of this startup, which now has to deliver on the largest flow-battery order to date. Imergy has around 110 units in the field. The Imergy product can provide from two to 12 hours of output duration.
Imergy, formerly known as Deeya, has raised more than $100 million from Technology Partners, New Enterprise Associates, DFJ, BlueRun Ventures and SunEdison. The company pivoted from its original iron-chromium chemistry to a refinement of a vanadium-electrolyte technology licensed from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Remote telecom sites in China or India have long been targets for flow batteries as diesel replacements. Imergy Power Systems' COO Tim Hennessy told GTM that Imergy flow batteries paired with solar can deliver electricity in Hawaii for 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. Diesel-generated electricity in the developing world costs around 50 cents, as opposed to 10 cents for combined PV and Imergy storage, according to GTM's reporting.
Jack Stark, Imergy CFO, told GTM, "If there's a need for discharge duration in excess of two hours or for a relatively fast charge or multiple cycles, no other battery can do those things well, and it's in those markets that we will thrive."
As far as revenue is concerned, Stark said, "The home run is demand charges, energy and the SGIP, and then add on aggregation of storage assets."
The cost of installing utility-scale solar has fallen considerably in recent years, from more than $6 per watt in 2009 to about $3 per watt in 2014. That has resulted in a boom in the sector, which is 31 times bigger than it was a decade ago.
Power-purchase agreement (PPA) prices are also continuing their downward trend, according to the third annual report on utility-scale solar from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
With the rush to get projects done before the cut to the federal Investment Tax Credit, levelized PPA prices have come down as low as $40 per megawatt-hour in the Southwest. At that price, PV compares to just the fuel costs for natural-gas plants. These numbers match what GTM Research has found as well.
Although the Southwest has the lowest prices, $50 to $75 per megawatt-hour is the new norm across the country, according to GTM Research. Boulder’s PPA with SunPower, for example, came in at $46 per megawatt-hour and Austin Energy’s most recent solar project came in at under $50 per megawatt-hour.
Falling prices have also opened up some markets to avoided-cost contracts, where solar is cheaper than a utility’s avoided costs to generate electricity elsewhere. In states like Utah and North Carolina, avoided-cost contracts are bringing in various solar contracts.
“This recent onslaught of applications for avoided-cost contracts has prompted the utilities involved and their state utility regulators to re-evaluate these contracts and the utilities’ PURPA requirements," reads the Berkeley lab study.
The rush to build utility-scale solar projects (defined as larger than 5 megawatts by Berkeley Lab) ahead of the ITC cliff is intense. Going into 2015, there were more than 44 gigawatts of capacity in the production queue.
“Even if only a modest fraction of the solar capacity in these queues meets that deadline, it will still mean an unprecedented amount of new construction in 2015 and 2016,” the study authors wrote. By the end of last year, there were about 8 gigawatts of utility-scale capacity in total.
For concentrated solar power, however, the era of new project construction may be over. Although the data set is small for CSP (six projects), “CSP prices do not seem to have declined over time to any notable extent, in stark contrast to the median PV prices included in the figure,” the Berkeley Lab report states. Also, while operations and maintenance costs for solar PV plants have generally declined, the one CSP plant in the study’s sample had rising O&M costs.
In the booming market of utility-scale solar PV, California and the Southwest still reign. They will account for about 60 percent of the scheduled capacity additions at the end of 2014, down from 80 percent at the end of 2013. Not all of this will be built, however, and GTM Research has projected about 27 gigawatts through 2016.
Even with a nearly 80 percent decrease in installations from 2016 to 2017, “the post-2016 outlook is not as bleak as we once thought,” said Colin Smith, solar market analyst with GTM Research.
“With the loss of the ITC, we expect to see a rise in PPA prices. But as the installation cost of utility PV continues to fall, we expect to see PPA prices start to return to 2015-2016 levels in 2019," he said.
Do you have a reference for this? The one I found, titled 'Materials and Processing for Lithium-ion Batteries' did find a high percentage of the cost is from the materials but in the conclusion stated 'There are clearly needs in the areas of materials development, optimization, and processing. The calculations above separate between materials and labor costs. However, it is nearly impossible to separate raw material costs from material processing costs because we never use pure raw materials in the process; rather, we use material compounds that are suitable for the application and that are the least expensive in production. Additionally, even raw materials and material compounds have been processed. Thus, new low-cost processing methods for those materials and compounds have to be developed in order to minimize the battery’s “raw material” cost.'
This leave open the option that economies of scale can indeed reduce the bottery's "raw material" cost. As the cost of automotive Li-Ion batteries have by all reports I have read been declining by like 14% a year since their introduction in EV's about 5 years ago.
The one question I have not seen anyone ask is why Toyota, the most ardent promoter of the fuel cell vehicle, does not according what one of their spokesmen told the Wall Street Journal, plan to expand production of these vehicles to at least 10,000 a year for at least 10 years.
What is it that is holding them back?
According to an article titled: 'Jefferies Analyst: Tesla To Drive Down Battery-Pack-Level Costs By 70% Via Economies Of Scale, Supply Chain Optimization, Etc' the gigafactory at full production could push battery costs down to about $38/kWh. Siting this article, another article predicts that the modle x or similar vehicle with a 250 to 300 mile range could drop to $35,000.
Of course, of more interest to me is how this will impact the price of the Powerwall for stationary storage.
Goldman Sachs released a September 22 research note that predicted that coal will decline and never come back. “Peak coal is coming sooner than expected,” the investment bank concluded. “The industry does not require new investment given the ability of existing assets to satisfy flat demand, so prices will remain under pressure as the deflationary cycle continues.”
The conclusion is a stunning one, especially considering the years of predictions that coal would climb inexorably as developing countries expanded their grids and their economies grew quickly. Last December, for example, the IEA predicted that coal consumption would grow steadily in the years ahead, expanding by about 2.1 percent per year for the rest of the decade. China would account for three-fifths of the growth in demand. “We have heard many pledges and policies aimed at mitigating climate change, but over the next five years they will mostly fail to arrest the growth in coal demand,” the IEA’s executive director said in December 2014.
But a lot has happened since then. Most important is the growing realization that China’s coal demand may not continue, a remarkable development, and perhaps a fatal one for many coal producers. The slowing demand for coal, along with the general commodity bust around the world, spells bad news for the coal industry. Goldman Sachs takes a dim view of coal prices for the foreseeable future. “We also reset our long-term forecast to $50/[tonne], down 23 percent from $65/[tonne], to reflect what we see as the remote likelihood that the market will tighten ever again,” the bank wrote.
In fact, it’s not just that demand growth will decline. Absolute demand will fall. Goldman Sachs predicts that global consumption of thermal coal used for electricity will dip from 6.15 billion tonnes in 2013 to just 5.98 billion tonnes in 2019. The decline is not enormous, but given the fact that not too long ago coal producers around the world expected strong growth for the next few decades, the downturn in coal demand is monumental.
Several coal producers in the U.S. have already gone bankrupt, including Alpha Natural Resources and Patriot Coal. Just this week, Arch Coal faced questions over a potential bankruptcy. Peabody, another major coal producer, is hoping to restructure some debt according to Bloomberg.
In contrast to the above article, the Bloomberg article titled "Batteries May Curb Sales by Power Companies, Moody’s Says" claims that Energy storage batteries will hurt the electric utilities because they will be installed at the customer's site, allowing the customer to buy low cost off peek power and forgo the high cost on peek power and reduce high demand fees as well.
Moody predicts that energy storage batteries will be economical for commercial customers in 3 to 5 years and for residential customers in 10 years.
This is a similar theme to what is going on with PV right now where there is a question if utility owned centralized PV or customer owned distributed PV will dominate the market. I tend to believe that customer owned distributed PV and batteries will likely dominate. On this score, unlike PV where the amount of behind the meter, customer owned PV is limited by roof space, behind the meter, customer owned battery storage is limited only by cost vs. benefit to the owner, so as cost goes down, the amount of customer owned storage will go up, so batteries pose an even greater potential harm to the utilities bottom line than does PV.