Battery support for renewable sources announced by Aquion

Battery support for renewable sources announced by Aquion
Inside an Aquion AHI Battery

Aquion evokes two words, aqueous and ion—fittingly, since the Pennsylvania-based company, Aquion Energy, is known for Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) battery systems. They are designed for long-duration cycling applications. Last month, they announced they were taking their AHI technology to a next level, providing energy gains without increasing the size or weight of their two product lines, the S-Line stack and the M-Line module. Translation: The Aquion's long-duration battery technology has got better. AHI batteries are now optimized for long charge and discharge cycles for solar and other renewable energy storage applications.

Their announcement is picking up lots of steam in media coverage. That attention is largely due to a key challenge in making renewable projects work—storing and transporting the power once the energy has been converted to electricity. Gigaom writer Katie Fehrenbacher recently commented how for the past several years batteries have taken center-stage in the solar industry. "When paired with solar panels, batteries can store solar energy at night when the sun goes down, making solar systems available to provide power around the clock. However, systems add significant costs to the solar system."

Enter Aquion. "A Battery to Prop Up Renewable Power Hits the Market" was the MIT Technology Review headline on Friday. Kevin Bullis said this new kind of battery was "the cheapest of a new generation of large, long-lived batteries that could make it possible to rely heavily on intermittent, ." Bullis further commented that their new energy storage could be crucial to making renewable energy more viable, especially in remote locations.

Discussing the advantages, the company said the new batteries are able to ease the burden of intermittent on the grid. The batteries paired with a solar array will charge during sunlight hours, then provide consistent power overnight, will reduce intermittence throughout the day and relieve evening peak load. "Aquion batteries enable maximum utilization of renewable generation for self-consumption and reduce reliance on diesel."

At shorter four to eight hour discharge rates, systems will experience an energy increase of up to 40 percent.

At longer 20-hour discharge rates, the S-Line Battery Stack will see a 24 percent increase in energy to 2.4 kilowatt-hours.

At longer 20-hour discharge rates, the M-Line Battery Module will see a 16 percent increase, totaling 25.5 kilowatt-hours.

Grid-scale applications for Aquion's batteries would include peak shifting, load shaving, and renewables support.

They showed their technology at Solar Power International last month in Las Vegas. Their technology approach marks a departure from traditional battery chemistries repurposed for solar applications, such as lead acid and lithium ion.

The company was spun out of Carnegie Mellon in 2010. According to the company history, Jay Whitacre, founder and CTO, worked on the company's original technology, developing their saltwater batteries. The "saltwater electrolyte battery technology" uses nontoxic materials that are in abundance, they said, along with low-cost manufacturing techniques. AHI chemistry is composed of a saltwater electrolyte, manganese oxide cathode, carbon composite anode, and synthetic cotton separator. The battery uses noncorrosive reactions at anode and cathode to prevent deterioration of the materials. The water-based chemistry results in a nontoxic and noncombustible product. Applications would include off-grid and microgrids, energy management, and grid services.

Bullis also discussed the technology in MIT Technology Review: "Aquion's batteries use sodium ions from saltwater as their electrolyte. Electrical current moves through this brackish liquid from positive electrodes based on manganese oxide to negative ones based on carbon. The batteries are large and operate slowly, but they are also manufactured cheaply, using repurposed manufacturing equipment."


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Smart, ecofriendly new battery to solve environmental problems

More information: www.aquionenergy.com

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Nov 16, 2014
Seems like their batteries are good for 3000 cycles and cost about $250 per kWh, which yields an energy price of 8.3 c/kWh on top of the cost of electricity and the efficiency losses.

So a ballpark figure of 10 cents per kWh extra.


Nov 16, 2014
prices?

Nov 16, 2014
prices?


According to this:

http://www.greent...ry-plans

85% efficiency, 5000 cycles, $250 per kWh not including installation and hookup costs. That would make the energy price through the batteries alone 5.9 c/kWh.

The system should have a lifespan of roughly 11 years between replacements. However, they're not promising 5000 cycles but 3000 in their offical specifications. They've simply tested it for 5k, presumaby under optimal conditions.

Nov 16, 2014
It's however somewhat more complex to determine system prices than on the performance figures alone, because these batteries are designed for slow rates (20+ hours), which means the battery system needs to be significantly oversized to accept charge at the peak solar rate.

The highest solar power peak lasts for about 4 hours a day, so you need to install about 5x the capacity than you'd actually need to capture the energy. Otherwise the battery system efficiency drops and damage accelerates because the energy losses in fast-charging a slow battery are high.

The next question then becomes the battery shelf-life, because each battery goes through less than one full cycle per day, so it takes 5x longer to go through the full number of cycles, and by that time the battery is losing capacity anyways because it's so old, which means that you won't be getting the full 5000 cycles out of each battery.

Nov 16, 2014
This is hilarious, watching the folk look for dark clouds in our silver linings. Will they produce radioactive waste we cannot safely store? See how much cheaper they are when health effects from competitive combustion sources they replace are figured in.

All the figuring by Eikka will not stop it.


Nov 16, 2014
Yeah, no technology is perfect, but we are perfecting them now.

My parents used to talk about "back East", from where they came, like my grandparents talked about "The Old Country", . . with relief they are gone. I found out why when we visited in 1950: No color, everything stunk from coal sulfur, all the buildings were ashen gray, and the sky was continually covered with a blanket of clouds. The cities were old and dirty, and the people stuck in established segments of society. It was completely different from California, where everything was open, and you could get a free education up to PhD.

Reagan screwed much of that up, but we still are in the forefront of technology YOU will use. So why diss the folk who are making things better? You should have learned to follow us by now.

Nov 16, 2014
Good critical analysis there guys/gals. The battery specs look to be derived at 30c and it is rated at -5c to 40c. What happens at these extremes. Also how do you keep it below 40c on a hot summer day? That could be a problem.

Nov 16, 2014
Any "problem" with these batteries will probably not contaminate several nations. Do they produce waste we cannot contain, such as massive slurries of coal toxins or radioactive nuclear waste?

Nov 16, 2014
"This is hilarious, watching the folk look for dark clouds in our silver linings."

Gkam that is the exact problem with the renewable energy movement. It only sees the "silver lining" and refuses to recognize the real economic costs involved in switching from fossil and nukes. The people involved think that they will tax the rich in order to make food and energy affordable to the rest of us.

Nov 16, 2014
You keep on saying that, and I keep on reminding you we are going to continue to employ these technologies. Do you think you know more than the scientists and engineers, economists and managers in power companies?

" The people involved think that they will tax the rich in order to make food and energy affordable to the rest of us." Your comments are based on political prejudice. Go to the Freepers to find support.

Nov 16, 2014
MR166, I apologize for my "Go to the Freepers". We get too personal here. My point should have been made more subtly.

Nov 16, 2014
more battery hype. haven't we seen enough over the years?

the REAL battery technology of the future is being built for cellphones and laptops right now. once the margins are fully exploited for selling to those high value categories, the cascade of sales will filter down the higherarchy of 'value'.

camping and micro-portable lighting/equipment
powertool batteries
electric bicycles

eventually----this will filter down to other performance categories with high performance products such as 'electric cars' being WAY DOWN the list. why? because if you pay the premiums per kw/h for these batteries for an electric car at the same rate as you would for a cell phone, the car battery pack is going to be outrageously expensive ( hence the reason tesla has desperately clung to the crazy idea of building the world mega biggest lithium ion battery factory to bring the prices down of his most expensive item.....hint....it's NOT going to work. )


Nov 16, 2014
Gkam the Freepers reference was not really an insult. I consider myself a libertarian conservative. In other words there should be as little government intervention in our daily lives as possible while protecting individual rights and freedoms. Local governments are the most answerable to the people and thus should have the most power over them. Our constitution should not be modified at the whim of a judge or politician. If you want to see proof of Divine inspiration just look at the Bill of Rights and our Constitution as it was written.

Nov 16, 2014
t-berry thinks battery technology will hinder electric vehicles instead of freeing them. We have been dealing with these systems actively for decades, while others were partying with Reagan at Nancy's Grand Balls. Our EPRI committees funded all kinds of electric transportation from inductively-charged electric buses, to linear induction mass transit to electric vehicles, battery technologies, inverter technologies, integration technologies.

We proved the efficacy and economics of electric postal vehicles in the 1980's and lost that opportunity to pure politics.

Nov 16, 2014
We proved the efficacy and economics of electric postal vehicles in the 1980's and lost that opportunity to pure politics.


You keep saying that, but it won't make it true.

We have been dealing with these systems actively for decades


Many of these systems didn't even exist until less than 10 years ago. This sodium-ion battery in particular.

This is hilarious, watching the folk look for dark clouds in our silver linings.


If you drop all the hype and exaggeration, the reality of the situation still is that putting electricity through a battery makes it more than twice as expensive as grid power. If you mean to produce your energy locally by solar power and smooth it out with batteries, you haven't reached grid parity yet, so it's premature to bust out the champagne.

When it falls below $200/kWh the battery becomes competitive with conventional load following capacity in the grid, but it has to go below $50/kWh to work as baseload supply.

Nov 16, 2014
The reason being that batteries add cost on top of whatever energy they buffer. If you can get solar power at 6 c/kWh and you add 8-10 c/kwh on top with the batteries, that's going to be 14-16 c/kWh to start with, and then you add the utility running costs and return to investors on top, and whoops you're at twice the grid electricity prices.

The only way you could sustain that on the market is by doing the same thing as Germany and forcing people to pay for it with surcharges, which in essence means ripping the money off of the poor and giving it to the rich, because poor people can't afford solar panels and batteries.


Nov 16, 2014
You are telling folks things they already know and yet it still makes sense to use these systems, even if you do not understand how.

All the surcharges still do not equal the health care costs imposed on us by coal. Clean energy and power are cheaper in the long run.

You can bring up all the negatives, but those making the decisions already know all this. It has been pounded into them by Big Oil. They are opposed by Congressmen owned by Big Oil. But economics will win out, when health care costs of burning coal are revealed to the American People.

Nov 16, 2014
I remember, decades ago, when politicians and long-term planners worried about the future when the Chinese would want telephones. There would not be sufficient copper on Earth to run lines to every Chinese household, and the Africans, as well.

Instead, they skipped the Age of Copper Communications for the most part with satellite and cell technologies. The emerging nations will also skip the Age of Central Brute-Force Power.

Nov 16, 2014
You are telling folks things they already know


Not really. I find few people have any understanding what things cost.

That's why all the news articles like this omit the information, and why other articles especially about renewable energy are talking about how many thousand homes they're powering instead of percentages or megawatt-hours.

It's missing the point entirely and creating the unwarranted illusion that something is happening, when in reality not enough is being done to address the whole energy issue.

All the surcharges still do not equal the health care costs imposed on us by coal. Clean energy and power are cheaper in the long run.


You're really making a false dichotomy. Coal is being replaced by gas anyways, could be replaced by nuclear, and the renewables aren't replacing either any time soon at this rate, because in order to do that we need Terawatt-hour scale energy storage systems, and we're currently short by a factor of a million.


Nov 16, 2014
After all, one would think that when a company presents a new battery that is supposed to solve renewable energy problems, the most important information they'd disclose is how cheap it is.

But price is a secondary issue because nobody really cares whether it's sustainable on the market, because everyone knows that they can just go to the government for the money. Everyone's pretty much implicitly assuming that the electricity grid of the future is going to be socialized to the state anyhow, and it doesn't matter how much things cost because it's going to be paid out of taxes one way or another.

Even the Germans have all but directly admitted that the Energiewende is never going to function as or transition to a free market, and is always going to require the state to shift money from one pocket to another to balance the costs.

Nov 16, 2014
" talking about how many thousand homes they're powering instead of percentages or megawatt-hours"

They talk of numbers of homes to relate to consumers who would not understand a Megawatt-hour from a krytron.

"It's missing the point entirely and creating the unwarranted illusion that something is happening,"

Something IS happening, and you do not like it. It is progress and it offends you in some way.

"But price is a secondary issue because nobody really cares whether it's sustainable on the market, because everyone knows that they can just go to the government for the money."

Now it comes out: It is all political!!

I warned you about letting political prejudice infect your rational judgment.

Nov 16, 2014
They talk of numbers of homes to relate to consumers who would not understand a Megawatt-hour from a krytron.


That's because nobody's telling them.

Besides, the number of homes is an equally meaningless figure because the audience doesn't know how many homes there are in the first place, or how the number of homes relate in energy use to the rest. It's just big numbers to look impressive.

Something IS happening, and you do not like it. It is progress and it offends you in some way.


No, I like it very much. I like it so much I would like a great deal more, but I also understand that it's not possible if we don't put our efforts into breaking the obstacles along the way.

Get this: my problem is, that governments are wasting everyone's time and money by building renewable energy technology that isn't going to solve anything without the crucial technologies we lack. They're windowdressing in a house that hasn't even got a roof yet.

Nov 16, 2014
Now it comes out: It is all political!!


No.

It's not an issue of politics, but policy. We're using the wrong policy to address the issue of clean energy production.

Politics would be to claim that it's all a socialist plot, or a libertarians' attempt to do something, when in reality it's mostly a matter of corruption where industry lobbyists have seen an opportunity to use the public renewable energy hype to sell the people and their governments expensive technology despite it not being very useful.

Do you think Vestas really cares whether they solve the energy crisis? All they care about is selling more wind turbines.

Nov 16, 2014
Besides, with the practical problems of renewable energy in Germany, they've actually increased the production of energy from coal faster than the increase in production from renewables, and their CO2 emissions are going up - not down.

With the real cost of renewable energy offset by the Feed-In-Tariffs, the renewables push the average market price of electricity down... but as that displaces the more expensive forms of energy like load following gas turbines, the remaining production is shifting towards cheap coal, and the continuing need for load following capacity is being outsourced by import and export of electricity.

It's a catch-22 because you still need something to fill in the gaps in production, but the government subsidized renewable power is making everything else non-profitable, so the only remaining source of energy is coal and imports.


Nov 16, 2014
If you are resource-poor, you have fewer alternatives than we do, such as geothermal. But you have more than those of which you are aware. NO, it won't be cheap, it is the restructuring of our energy system, but it will be worth it.

Got sun? You have PV. Got wind? You can put up a turbine and the power company has to buy it. The new grid gives us all the opportunity to be players, too. You are whining instead of collecting all those supports!

Nov 16, 2014
Eikka sure does his/her homework. I sympathize with the issues in Europe, different from ours here in many respects.

But coal is dirty and nuclear is dangerous for all mankind. We simply must retrofit our systems to other technologies.

Nov 16, 2014
" . . but the government subsidized renewable power is making everything else non-profitable, . . "

-----------------------------------------------

from http://www.bbc.co...29715796
"The government is offering more generous subsidies to nuclear than wind in the long term."

Nov 16, 2014
Over the long haul, the cost of petroleum and natural gas are likely to rise.

As for coal, it's silly to even consider burning more of the stuff. Look at Beijing; that's what unrestricted growth in coal looks like, even without factoring in climate change effects. Coal is not healthy; 'clean coal' will cost more than the energy harvest is worth.

By contrast, we are seeing slow, steady improvement in renewable technologies. Solar is acquiring improvements in energy capture by bits and drabs every year. I have high hopes for ocean kinetic, though it's a tough engineering and capital investment prospect. Wind farms make economic sense in certain locations. Improvement in battery cost per kilowatt hour, cycles and weight-to-power ratio are happening, not fast enough to please anyone, but they're happening. Hell, we might even see fusion-based electricity generation in our lifetimes; we will, if Lockheed Martin isn't just blowing smoke. (I don't know if they are, truthfully.)

Nov 16, 2014
I think it's quite reasonable to expect to want to see a cross-over between fossil fuels and renewable, nonpolluting energy sources. It's basically just an engineering challenge. There aren't any advantage to staying with 19th Century fossil fuels over the long haul.

Civilization has to change.

The market is the driving force for this change, but governments set the rules for markets. They should be acting to move the transition along, especially through funding R&D, incentives and tax policies.

I don't have a high regard for the libertarian theory of economics or Ayn Rand's nonsensical arguments. But we can't ignore the profit motive, either. Keynes' mixed markets is the right conceptual framework.

Nov 16, 2014
The Utilities which started all this in the 1980's were very large and all in California. They were the two biggest investor-owned power companies on Earth. Since they had public monopolies, they were under the influence of the PUC, which dictated they do it, and were rewarded with 18% ROI. We got stable and clean power and they got more efficient customers at the same time.

Nov 17, 2014
Also how do you keep it below 40c on a hot summer day?

Bury it. In an even mildly insulated container keeping batteries from such extremes is pretty simple. (Even keeping it in the shade of a solar collector would be enough in most parts as temperatures in shade rarely exceed 40° in non-equatorial latitudes)

It only sees the "silver lining" and refuses to recognize the real economic costs

You know, that's sort of vexing: The real economic cost of keeping on with what we're doing is enormous. And it is spread over forever. While the economic cost of a switchover is mild and only within a very limited timespan. No matter how I crunch the numbers I can't get nuclear or coal to come out ahead (even if one were to ignore all the environmental costs!)

Nov 17, 2014
"In an even mildly insulated container keeping batteries from such extremes is pretty simple."

Since the battery is 85% efficient there will be a significant amount of heat generated during the charge/discharge cycles. Thus insulation will not work, there needs to be air flow below 40c.

Nov 17, 2014
Yet another news story to push forward the false agenda that renewable solutions require batteries to operate.

The anti-renewable lobby group is hard at work.

Nov 17, 2014
Jag, these folk have religious fear of renewables. When I tell them how we have used alternative power systems for decades, they only can whine about something and deny it works.

Nov 17, 2014
The greedy folk in the "o'l bidness" have outsmarted themselves with their push to pump out all of our oil as fast as they can, leaving nothing for our grandkids but the smog. Doing so has pushed the price of oil down.

Thanks. Meanwhile, we will not stop developing alternatives no matter how low it gets.

Nov 17, 2014
Since the battery is 85% efficient there will be a significant amount of heat generated during the charge/discharge cycles.

So? These are rather large batteries (low energy density). So the generated heat is dissipated over a large area (also note that 85% efficiency includes the charge cycle AND the discharge cycle).

And since you're going to discharge at night or when overcast (you know: when the photovoltaics aren't pumping energy every which way) you're not operating under worst case environmental conditions in any case.

If you're really paranoid about the heat then use the resulting waste heat to preheat water for nearby residences. Got a solar collector on the roof. You would not believe how much money you save per year if you have 35° preheated water year-round .

Nov 17, 2014
Funny thing about solar water heaters, they were somewhat popular a while back but most systems have been removed. It seems that high maintenance costs made them impracticable.

They were the first green solar dream to be proven not cost effective.

Nov 17, 2014
It seems the Deniers have a whine for every idea that gets us off filthy fuels. Look around and see how many roofs are being covered with PV.

In concert, households are using less electricity than before, even with our increasing electrification of everything. With the reduced use and the additional power production from residences, we have reduced our need for inefficient and costly Peaking Power significantly.

Continued efficiency by industry is doing the same thing. We do not need the paradigm of Big Power any more.

Nov 17, 2014
. It seems that high maintenance costs made them impracticable.

I dunno. Put one on the roof of my dad's house 15 years ago. Never touched it since. Not sure where you see these 'maintenance costs' - but from my experience they are in the zero Euros range.
The collectors far outperfomed the PV panels as to bang-for-the-buck. The PV panels paid for themselves after roughly 12 years. The solar collector after a mere 5.

Nov 17, 2014
"The collectors far outperfomed the PV panels as to bang-for-the-buck. The PV panels paid for themselves after roughly 12 years. The solar collector after a mere 5."
-------------------------------------

So, how much do they pay now for power and hot water? How much pollution is generated?

Nov 17, 2014
Gkam those solar panels are the result of government subsidies and forced power buy backs by the utilities at much high than market rates. They cannot supply power at the same cost as coal, gas or nuke.

Nov 17, 2014
" They cannot supply power at the same cost as coal, gas or nuke."
--------------------------------------
They certainly can. And everyday, they get cheaper.

Meanwhile Don Blakenship, the nasty coal Baron has been indicted for killing those coal miners with his need for money and lack of legal safety systems in filthy coal mines.

Once the PV systems are paid off, the electricity is free! And no pollution! And nobody dies digging out the dirty fuels.

Nov 17, 2014
Gkam when the sad day comes that we run out of coal and gas and rates triple you will be the first one clamoring for government electricity subsidies. No doubt you will blame the high rates on greedy corporations.

Nov 17, 2014
I was a Senior Engineer for one of those "greedy corporations" so I understand how it works. What is your experience in the power business?

Nov 17, 2014
Every government is corrupt!!!!!! This highlights the danger of crony capitalism.

http://www.zerohe...rs-were-

Nov 18, 2014
"So, how much do they pay now for power and hot water?"
The heating costs did skyrocket with the increase in oil prices over the past decades. The solar collector put a significant dent into that cost. It was a one-time investment that by now has paid for itself three times over.

"They cannot supply power at the same cost as coal, gas or nuke."

True: renewables are MUCH cheaper if you compare end-to-end costs (resources, manufacture, production, maintenance, environmental cleanup and subsidies)
They make sense on all levels: Your wallet benefits. The job market benefits, the health of the citizens benefits and the planet benefits. I'm amazed that anyone can actually argue against ANY ONE of these - much less against all at once.

Nov 18, 2014
"True: renewables are MUCH cheaper if you compare end-to-end costs"

If that were true government subsidies and power by back programs would not exist for renewables. Companies would be waiting on line to build then without any outside help.

Conventional utilities and fossil fuel companies pay a huge amount of taxes each year to every level of government. Renewables are huge receivers of tax monies. Get Real Anti!

Nov 18, 2014
What does it take to tell 166 his assumptions are incorrect? Those of us who were in the business tried, but it is stuck in his head, I guess.

Look up the total amount of subsidies given to petroleum. Start with the Depletion Allowance, where they sell what they have, then we pay them because they do not have it any more.

Nov 18, 2014
Gkam since you obviously know nothing about our tax system and corporate tax deductions let me simplify things for you.

The fossil fuel companies pay huge taxes and the renewable energy companies receive huge subsidies. So, who is getting subsidized and who is paying the bill?

Nov 18, 2014
Did you look up the Depletion Allowance and see how much it has cost us?

You made an assertion and must prove it. Look up the numbers on subsidies and report back so we can see them, please.

Be sure to include oil and gas and nuclear power, which is almost purely governmental we gave it so much money.


Nov 18, 2014
Somebody who fears the truth voted down a CNN Money article on oil depletion and government subsidies to Big Oil.

Scared of facts?

Nov 18, 2014
If you pay say a million dollars for an oil field drain it and sell the oil you should be able to deduct the cost of the field from the sales price of the oil in order to determine your profit. That is known as the depletion allowance. What is unfair about that?

Nov 18, 2014
We are paying for the oil they already sold. Gee, can I do that, and bill the guvmunt because I sold all my stuff? Nice scam!

Did you see the article on the $5,000,000,000 we give to Big Oil, while only a few millions to renewables? It is because Big Oil owns the Congressional crooks.

Nov 18, 2014
Scared of facts?


Non Cher. I just don't like you very much. You shouldn't have attracted my attention, so that is on you Skippy.

Nov 18, 2014
"Gee, can I do that, and bill the guvmunt because I sold all my stuff? "

Exactly what part of "Tax Deduction" do you not understand? If I buy a crate of oranges (oil field) and sell them to customers (oil sales) I get to deduct the cost of the crate of oranges from my total sales in order to determine taxable profit.

Nov 18, 2014
" I just don't like you very much."
------------------------------------------

Did I hurt your feelings with facts?

Nov 18, 2014
" I just don't like you very much."
------------------------------------------

Did I hurt your feelings with facts?


Non Cher. I don't know you so how can you hurt me feelings? You just another couyon on the internet who thinks people think is smarter than he is. I don't down vote for what you know or do not know. I vote you down for pretending to know more than you know.

I never would have even noticed you if you had not been the hypocrite-Skippy by down voting people who make the very same comments that you make all the time. So you earned your place on the list Cher. And a nice silly looking pointy cap to wear while you are here too.

Nov 18, 2014
Despite the Deniers and the whiners, we are changing as we speak.

No amount of whining will stop it, because it makes sense to the professionals who understand it, not the bystanders with political grudges.

Nov 20, 2014
Did you see the article recently discussing how the 7 largest corporations pay their CEO more than they pay uncle Sam?

If you can pay one guy in massive corporation more than you pay in taxes, then your finding more than your purchase price of your box of oranges to write off.

Nov 20, 2014
Battery technology will help us in these goals:
http://www.scient...20141120

Nov 21, 2014
Eikka sure does his/her homework. I sympathize with the issues in Europe, different from ours here in many respects.


You aren't exempt from these issues. You just haven't gotten as far yet.

Germany is at 25% renewables excluding hydroelectricity, whereas California is at 16% excluding hydroelectricity as of 2013.

California has a much higher fraction of hydroelectric power than Germany, so you will hit the same issues at about 38% total share in renewables, which is expected to happen somewhere around 2025. After that, the cost of integrating more renewable energy into the grid will skyrocket.


Nov 21, 2014
Of course, California will not start using coal for cheap energy - they're already producing nearly everything that isn't renewables from gas, so the shift will be towards importing electricity from other states.

The only exception is a 9% share of nuclear power which will necessarily be replaced by gas turbines, which leads to an increase in CO2 emissions exactly like what happened in Germany.

But it's pretty much assumed at this point that gkam would rather pay triple for his electricity and emit more CO2 than have nuclear power - no matter what ecological and social consequences that would have.

Nov 21, 2014
Also, the geothermal energy that gkam is constantly raving about, in California, is almost all built on top of natural geothermal hotspots like The Geysers, and for those spots there's room to increase from the already existing 2,700 MW to about 4,000 MW which is not much.

Other than that, if you drill a deep well to extract heat, the site will go cold in about 30 years and you have to relocate, and wait for another 100 years for it to heat up again. This is much more expensive and much less effective or efficient than simply capping naturally occurring geysers and hot springs.

The vast majority of new renewables even in California will have to come from wind and solar power, which are the most problematic.

Nov 21, 2014
You keep on looking for those sour grapes, Eikka.

We are winning. You are losing.

BTW, things always look different from the outside.

Nov 21, 2014
Okay, I have a question for all of you.

What will happen first, a good technology for electrical storage or a way to store high-level nuclear waste?

Nov 21, 2014
@Eikka California has a much higher fraction of hydroelectric power than Germany, so you will hit the same issues at about 38% total share in renewables, which is expected to happen somewhere around 2025. After that, the cost of integrating more renewable energy into the grid will skyrocket.
Absurd. People will simply store excess energy in their electric car for use off peak, while the cost of solar cells will fall to the cost of paint

Nov 21, 2014
Once again, folk outside the business do not understand the spectrum of technologies which will be employed to reduce energy use and to add capacity. We are doing it now.

Stop the paranoia, please.

Nov 21, 2014
The question of what developing technologies we use might become apparent with this concern:

What will we develop first, a good technology for electrical storage or a way to store high-level nuclear waste?

Nov 21, 2014
With the sudden need to go green, Europe has become much more efficient than the US. In the late 1970's we led the world, and could have developed the systems to give us essentially fuel-free power by now. But instead, we got Reaganed.

Now, Europe can sell it to us, like the Chinese, whose cheap PV put Solyndra and others out of business.

Nov 21, 2014
Once again, it is absolutely necessary for us to help the developing world begin their infrastructure with new technologies, appropriate technologies for developing nations. They do not need a Nuclear Priesthood to build and manage their infrastructure for them, they will use technologies they can work with themselves.

Fortunately that is exactly what alternative energy does. It considers all natural sources, and makes intelligent decisions how to integrate them into satisfying their needs. They will not pay some massive corporation to come in and take over, like in the past.

The use of PV and small hydro and wind will allow them to build microgrids, then integrate them. It is beginning now. Hide and watch.

Nov 21, 2014
Nobody has responded to my inquiry of which will happen first, the development and market penetration of essential battery technology or a way to store long-term high-level nuclear waste?

All of you but the snipers have opinions, so let's discuss it.

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