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

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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

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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

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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

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Solar Thermal ESOI (Energy Stored on Invested)

Barton, N. April 17, 2013. ESOI for solar thermal. http://sunoba.blogspot.com/2013/04/esoi-for-solar-thermal.html 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

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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

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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

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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

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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. GreenCarCongress.com A plot of ESOI for 7 potential grid-scale energy storage technologies. Credit: … Continue reading

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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

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