Category Archives: Energy

the posts in this category used to be in “Energy in A Nutshell” at my former web site.

Smart Grid Challenges

Meier, A. May 2014. Challenges to the integration of renewable resources at high system penetration. California Energy Commission. A challenge to “smart grid” coordination is managing unprecedented amounts of data associated with an unprecedented number of decisions and control actions … Continue reading

Posted in Smart Grid | Tagged | Leave a comment

Spain Wind Integration

2 articles below: [energyresources] Digest Number 8957 [altered slightly] Jan 14, 2015   papp20032000  Pedro Prieto In Spain we have this mix, as of the end of 2014: INSTALLED POWER MW     %         GWH     % 19893 18.4    43191   16.7     … Continue reading

Posted in Renewable Integration | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

German wind integration

NREL. 2012. Integrating Variable Renewable Energy in Electric Power Markets: Best Practices from International Experience. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Germany has developed a fund to encourage new fossil-fired power plants to use the most flexible technology available to maximize their … Continue reading

Posted in Renewable Integration | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Electric grid large power transformers take up to 2 years to build

[Large power transformers are essential critical infrastructure to the electric grid, and are huge, weighing up to 820,000 pounds.  If large power transformers are destroyed by a geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) electromagnetic pulse (EMP), cyber-attack, sabotage, severe weather, floods, or simply … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Grid, Electricity, Infrastructure, Interdependencies | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solar Thermal ESOI (Energy Stored on Invested)

Barton, N. April 17, 2013. ESOI for solar thermal. Published information is available to evaluate the ESOI score for the most common solar thermal storage technology – a molten 60-40 mixture of sodium and potassium nitrates, commonly known as … Continue reading

Posted in Energy Storage, Solar Thermal | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Generating electricity with biomass at utility-scale in California limited to direct combustion in small 50 MW plants

CEC. 2014. Estimated cost of new renewable and fossil generation in California. California Energy Commission. CEC-200-2014-003-SD. 254 pages. CHAPTER 8: Biomass Technology Biomass technologies are plants that use biological resources, such as forestry waste or farming by-products, to produce electricity … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, Electric Grid | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Integrating renewable power research

Below are intermittent energy integration posts, workshops, and other research on this topic that aren’t integrated and summarized into a post yet. Savage, W. 2012. The Full Cost of Renewables: Managing Wind Integration Costs in California. Pomona Senior Theses. Paper … Continue reading

Posted in Renewable Integration | Leave a comment

Extreme Events. CEC 2011. Variable distributed generation from solar and wind increase the chance of large blackouts

Morgan, M., et al.   (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Electric Power Research Institute, BACV Solutions, Southern Company, CIEE, University of Alaska – Fairbanks, and KEMA). 2011. Extreme Events. California Energy Commission. Publication number: CEC-500- 2013-031. Figure 18: BLACKOUT … Continue reading

Posted in Grid instability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Utility Scale Energy Storage Batteries limited by both materials and energy

Stanford study quantifies energetic costs of grid-scale energy storage over time; current batteries the worst performers; the need to improve cycle life by 3-10x 10 March 2013. A plot of ESOI for 7 potential grid-scale energy storage technologies. Credit: … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy Resources, Batteries | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solar Photovoltaics (PV) limited by raw materials

This paper (excerpts below) shows that there are limits to growth — there simply aren’t enough minerals in the world that can be produced physically and/or at a reasonable cost for the most popular kinds of PV being made now. … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy Resources, Photovoltaic Solar | Leave a comment