Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Microgrids, Hydro, Solar  -  July 18, 2020

Weekend reads: Tesla's solar-powered Cybertruck; Using hydrogen may be the key to microgrids

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

Tesla Cybertruck deployable solar concept is insane but might not be too far out (Electrek) Tesla Cybertruck is going to be the first Tesla vehicle with solar power. A new concept video of the electric pickup truck with deployable solar may look insane, but it might not too far out. After the launch of the Cybertruck, CEO Elon Musk surprised many when he said that Tesla’s new electric pickup truck will have a solar roof option that will add 15 miles of range per day. It was surprising because several automakers, including Tesla, have explored adding solar on electric vehicles before, but most projects haven’t come to production or provided any significant power.

Hydrogen May Be The Crucial ‘Jigsaw’ Piece For Green Microgrids (Forbes) After catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018 had devastated the transmission lines owned by PG&E Corp., it was forced to declare bankruptcy. And the fallout from that has been a move to localize both the supply and delivery of electricity — power to come from green energy and to be sent using microgrids. Microgrids are set up for several reasons that include increasing a region’s resiliency — or its ability to maintain power as well as incorporating more renewable energy to cut down on CO2 releases. And they can be set up in remote locations that have no access to the centralized grid, thus creating more economic opportunities. But in the case of PG&E, it is looking to such localized delivery systems as a way to battle wildfires and to avoid wholesale blackouts.

Global mayors call for green investments in COVID-19 recovery efforts (Axios) Urban economies need to be rebuilt to prioritize green investments in order to create a more resilient, just society that can withstand global shocks, argue the mayors of many of the world's biggest cities in a report out Wednesday. Why it matters: "A return to 'business as usual' would not just be a monumental failure of imagination, but lock in the inequities laid bare by the pandemic and the inevitability of more devastating crises due to the climate breakdown," the group of mayors concludes.

How will COVID impact demand response? (Solar Power World) Regions impacted by COVID-19 have seen energy demand affected by business closures and quarantine behavior. But overall reduction in demand due to COVID-19 does not mean that utilities are abandoning their demand response goals for the upcoming season. Utilities continue to rely on distributed energy resource programs to provide valuable grid services during this crisis, especially during high-energy-use seasons like summer. Here are unique considerations utilities face as they scale enrollment and call demand response events within the context of COVID-19.

The most powerful renewable energy (BBC) The world’s most relied-upon renewable energy source isn’t wind or sunlight, but water. Last year, the world’s hydropower capacity reached a record 1,308 gigawatts (to put this number in perspective, just one gigawatt is equivalent to the power produced by 1.3 million race horses or 2,000 speeding Corvettes). Utilities throughout the globe rely upon hydropower to generate electricity because it is cheap, easily stored and dispatched, and produced with no fuel combustion, meaning it won’t release carbon dioxide or pollutants the way power plants burning fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas do. 

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