Category Archives: Electric Grid

Making the most energy dense battery from the palette of the periodic table

There hasn’t been much progress in batteries the past 200 years, not enough for affordable cars, let alone far more essential freight vehicles. The very heavy, 4,647 pound Tesla Model S gets most of its mileage from aerodynamics, reduced rolling … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Cars, Lithium-ion | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Tilting at Windmills, Spain’s disastrous attempt to replace fossil fuels with Solar Photovoltaics

Book review of “Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution. The Energy Return on Investment”, by Pedro Prieto and Charles A.S. Hall. 2013. Springer. Reviewed by Alice Friedemann, Last updated April 11, 2015 with responses from Prieto on criticism received at the 2015 … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Charles A. S. Hall, Debt, Electric Grid, Energy, EROEI Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Photovoltaic Solar, Solar | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

CSP with thermal energy storage is seasonal, so it can not balance variable power or contribute much power for half the year

Concentrated Solar Power not only needs lots of sunshine, but no humidity, clouds, dust, smog or or anything else that can scatter the sun’s rays.  Above 35 degrees latitude north or south, the sun’s rays have to pass through too … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, CSP with thermal energy storage, Grid instability | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Short-circuiting a solar boom in Japan

Spain is still feeling the painful effects of the costs of overbuilt solar PV, and now Japan is finding itself in the same position.  This article does a lousy job of explaining that the grid must be in exact supply … Continue reading

Posted in Distributed Generation, Grid instability, Photovoltaic Solar, Renewable Integration | Comments Off

Wind turbines hit limits to growth before 50% wind power penetration

Material requirements of 50% wind power in the USA hit limits to growth Also see Davidsson, S., et al. 2014. Growth curves and sustained commissioning modelling of renewable energy Investigating resource constraints for wind energy. Energy Policy. Wind turbines can’t … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy Resources, Electrification, Limits To Growth, Renewable Integration, Wind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is there enough renewable energy to replace fossil fuel electricity generation?

NREL. July 2012. U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This document is a thought experiment that uses GIS mapping to estimate how much renewable power could possibly be generated in each state regardless of … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Concentrated Solar Power, Photovoltaic Solar, Renewable Integration, Wind | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Drawbacks of a distributed generation electric grid

Gardiner, B. October 8, 2013. Bypassing the Power Grid. New York Times. Small, decentralized generators are mostly inefficient, costing far more per unit of output than conventional power or even utility-scale renewable energy, like big solar farms.  Making haphazard changes … Continue reading

Posted in Distributed Generation | Comments Off

Not enough wind, solar, geothermal to replace fossil and nuclear power in the 11 western states of the WECC

California, Oregon, Utah, and Washington have already developed most (if not all) of their prime-quality in-state resources. You would think that the more wind and solar power is added over a wide area, the more fossil fuel power plants you … Continue reading

Posted in Renewable Integration | Comments Off

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 | Comments Off

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 , , , , , | Comments Off