Energy Storage, GHG Emissions, Microgrids - November 16, 2019
Weekend reads: Decarbonizing electricity in the U.S.; NASA's first electric airplane
It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.
How To Reach U.S. Net Zero Emissions By 2050: Decarbonizing Electricity (Forbes) Presidential candidates, state governments, and utilities are promoting “net zero” emissions targets to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and preserve a safe climate future by helping to limit global warming to well below 2°C. But few of them are exploring exactly how the U.S. could achieve the ambitious goal of remaking its energy economy. Energy Innovation previously modeled a scenario to achieve the U.S. Paris Agreement pledge using the peer-reviewed, free, and open-source Energy Policy Simulator (EPS); it now uses the EPS to explore an illustrative policy package to achieve net zero U.S. emissions.
In search for cheaper, longer energy storage, mountain gravity could eventually top lithium-ion (Utility Dive) Mountain gravity energy storage could be a viable way to store electricity for longer durations and at larger scales than lithium-ion battery storage can, according to a study recently published in the academic journal Energy. The idea of gravity as a form of storage is an example of ongoing research into additional storage options beyond lithium-ion batteries. Despite large cost reductions over the past several years, some experts still view lithium-ion systems as not economically-efficient enough at scale to fully back up the amount of renewable energy expected to come onto the grid due to states’ long-term clean energy goals.
Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt. (Vox) The US power grid is, by some estimates, the largest machine in the world, a continent-spanning wonder of the modern age. And despite its occasional well-publicized failures, it is remarkably reliable, delivering energy to almost every American, almost every second of every day. This is an especially remarkable accomplishment given that, until very recently, almost none of that power could be stored. It all has to be generated, sent over miles of wires, and delivered to end users at the exact second they need it, in a perfectly synchronized dance. Given the millions of Americans, their billions of electrical devices, and the thousands of miles of electrical wires involved, well, it’s downright amazing.
Five Companies Selected to Join GCxN Cleantech Accelerator (GCxN) The Shell GameChanger™ Accelerator Powered by NREL (GCxN) today announced the second round of startup companies to participate in its cleantech accelerator. The five participating companies were selected through a multistage competitive evaluation and are focused on advancing novel utility grid or electric vehicle charging technologies – the areas of focus identified for this cohort.
NASA unveils its first electric airplane - a work in progress (MSN) NASA, most prominent for its many Florida-launched exploits into space, showcased an early version of its first all-electric experimental aircraft, the X-57 "Maxwell," on Friday at its lesser-known aeronautics lab in the California desert. Adapted from an Italian-made Tecnam P2006T twin-engine propeller plane, the X-57 has been under development since 2015 and remains at least a year away from its first test flight in the skies over Edward Air Force Base.
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