Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Sourcing Renewables  -  February 23, 2019

Weekend reads: RE vs. Polar Vortex; Solar from space

It's the weekend! Kick back and relax with these must-read articles from around the web:

100% Renewable Energy Needs Lots of Storage. This Polar Vortex Test Showed How Much. (Inside Climate News)  In the depths of the deep freeze late last month, nearly every power plant in the Eastern and Central U.S. that could run was running. Energy analysts saw a useful experiment in that week of extreme cold: What would have happened, they asked, if the power grid had relied exclusively on renewable energy—just how much battery power would have been required to keep the lights on? Using energy production and power demand data, they showed how a 100 percent renewable energy grid, powered half by wind and half by solar, would have had significant stretches without enough wind or sun to fully power the system, meaning a large volume of energy storage would have been necessary to meet the high demand.

Seattle mayor proposes EV readiness requirement for all new buildings (Smart Cities Dive) Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is proposing that all new buildings be equipped for electric vehicle (EV) charging as part of the city’s climate change strategy. Durkan outlined the proposal in her State of the City speech this week and has sent it to city council for approval. The proposal requires a certain number of parking spaces at all new buildings have the wiring and outlets to be ready for EV chargers. Under the proposal, any individual residence with private parking would have to include one EV-ready space, and multi-family developments with shared parking must have 20% of their spaces be EV-ready. 

Hawaii ‘Postcard From the Future’ for Renewables (Bloomberg Environment) Near Honolulu, researchers are testing how to generate electricity from the energy in ocean waves. And Hawaii’s largest electric utility is among the first to widely use advanced “smart” inverters to help manage the flow of electricity from rooftop solar panels into the power grid. Such projects help explain why Hawaii is becoming a laboratory for how to integrate wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy into an electric power grid—something the state must do in order to meet its first-in-the-nation goal to use only renewable electricity in the future. 

SIU students work on predicting power grid reliability with Ameren Illinois project (The Southern Illinoisan)  When you flip that switch on the wall, you expect that light to go on. Reliability is one of the most basic requirements for electricity suppliers. A classroom of undergraduate mathematics degree program students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, guided by their teacher, is working with one of the biggest utilities in the area to help ensure its service remains reliable. The goal for students in Wesley Calvert’s Industrial Mathematics class is to generate data-driven predictions of reliability 

Chinese media reveals space solar power station plans – pie in the sky? (Electrek)  China is reportedly working on an experimental space power plant that would collect solar energy and beam it down to earth. Chinese state media recently reported the country’s plans for a solar power station orbiting the Earth that could harness solar power without any interference. The report comes from China’s Science and Technology Daily (via The Sydney Morning Herald). Construction of such a power station is already happening in the city of Chongqing, according to the report. 

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