Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  July 13, 2019

Weekend reads: RE storage goes Rube Goldberg; Major fleets go green

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

Five Ways Companies Can Store Renewable Energy for the Grid (Bloomberg Businessweek)  Even the best lithium-ion batteries stink at storing the large amounts of electricity a massive wind or solar installation is capable of generating. They’re expensive and hold, at most, about four hours’ worth of that grid-scale juice. Here are five potentially less costly—if somewhat Rube Goldberg-y—methods companies are trying to store power as potential energy in other forms, smoothing out renewable energy’s peaks and valleys.

Major Fleets Go Green as Big Business Grasps Electric Vehicle Opportunity (The Climate Group)  Leading by example on the next big business opportunity for the energy sector, two of the UK’s major energy suppliers. Centrica and SSE have today committed to switch their vehicle fleets to electric by 2030. Alongside facilities services company Mitie, the major utilities have joined international non-profit The Climate Group’s global EV100 initiative, which brings together forward-thinking, committed companies from around the world to make electric transport ‘the new normal’ by 2030. 

Wind power costs have plummeted. How can they fall even further? (Into the Wind/the AWEA blog)  New technology gets cheaper over time. We’ve seen it with TVs, laptops and even cell phones. While a new iPhone may run you several hundred dollars today, a Motorola DynaTac would have set you back nearly $4,000 in 1983. Wind energy is no exception to this rule—it may have been costly at one time, but today wind is the cheapest source of new electric generating capacity in many parts of the country. In fact, wind today costs 69 percent less than it did in 2009.

US now has over 20,000 electric car charging stations with more than 68,800 connectors (electrek)  The Department of Energy (DOE) reports that the US now has over 20,000 electric car charging stations with more than 68,800 connectors. The new numbers were released by the DOE this week: “As of May 2019, there were more than 68,800 Level 2 and DC fast charging units throughout the United States. Of that total, 16%, or approximately 10,860 units, were DC fast chargers that make long-distance travel more practical for electric vehicles (EV).” 

Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer (Phys.org)  An innovative thermal battery being developed by Curtin University researchers will be key to a solar power system capable of producing electricity overnight, rivaling fossil fuels as a viable source of power for commercial and heavy industries around the world, including mining operations. Curtin is collaborating with international renewable energy companies United Sun Systems and ITP Thermal on the potentially game-changing project, which is being led by Professor Craig Buckley from Curtin's School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences.



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