Electricity makes the world go round

Wind towers suck in so many ways. They can even draw more power out than they bring in and best of all — their peak electron sucking power comes just when the state needs electricity the most.

Electricity makes the world go round

Storage of electricity in large quantities is reaching an inflection point, poised to give a big boost to renewables, to disrupt business models across the electrical industry, and to tap into a market that will eventually top many of tens of billions of dollars per year, and trillions of dollars cumulatively over the coming decades.

Electricity makes the world go round

As a follow-on to this post, I run the numbers on how cheap can energy storage get? And the answer is: Recently, though, I delivered a talk to the executives of a large energy company, the preparation of which forced me to crystallize my thinking on recent developments in the energy storage market.

Energy storage is hitting an inflection point sooner than I expected, going from being a novelty, to being suddenly economically extremely sensible. That, in turn, is kicking off a virtuous cycle of new markets opening, new scale, further declining costs, and additional markets opening.

Three things are happening which feed off of each other. Indeed, while high compared to grid electricity, the price of energy storage has been plummeting for twenty years. And it looks likely to continue.

Battery storage and next-generation compressed air are right on the edge of the prices where it becomes profitable to arbitrage shifting electricity prices — filling up batteries with cheap power from night time sources, abundant wind or solar, or otherand using that stored energy rather than peak priced electricity from natural gas peakers.

This arbitrage can happen at either the grid edge the home or business or as part of the grid itself. Either way, it taps into a market of potentially s of thousands of MWh in the US alone.

Batteries and other storage technologies have learning curves. Increased production leads to lower prices. Expanding the scale of the storage industry pushes forward on these curves, dropping the price. Which in turn taps into yet larger markets. And the electric car market, in turn, is making large-format lithium-ion batteries cheaper for grid use.

Those are the costs of the equipment. But how does that translate into the cost of electricity? What really matters when we talk about energy storage for electricity that can be used in homes and buildings is the impact on Levelized Cost of Electricity LCOE that the battery imposes.

In other words, if I put a kwh of electricity into the battery, and then pull a kwh of electricity out, over the lifetime of the battery and including maintenance costs, installation costs, and all the restwhat did that cost me? Traditional lithium ion-batteries begin to degrade after a few hundred cycles of fully charging and fully discharging, or 1, cycles at most.

And retail electricity rates around the US average around 12 cents per kwh. But there are other technologies that may be ultimately more suitable for grid energy storage than lithium-ion. Lithium-ion is compact and light. But heavier, bulkier storage technologies that last for more cycles will be long-term cheaper.

Two come to mind: Flow Batteries, just starting to come to market, can theoretically operate for 5, charge cycles or more.

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In some cases they can operate for 10, cycles or more. In addition, the electrolyte in a flow battery is a liquid that can be replaced, refurbishing the battery at a fraction of the cost of installing a new one. Capital costs for these technologies are likely to be broadly similar to lithium-ion costs over the long term and at similar scale.

And because a flow battery or compressed air system lasts for so many more cycles, the overall cost of electricity is likely to be many times lower.

At this point, other variables begin to dominate the equation: The cost of capital borrowing or opportunity cost ; management and maintenance costs; siting costs.A brief history of electricity.

Picture: Nikola Tesla (–) pioneered the alternating current power system most of us use today. Even so, his rival, Thomas Edison (–), is still popularly remembered as the inventor who gave the world electric power.

ph-vs.com allows you to manage your Vectren Energy Delivery account, pay your bill, find information and more. Our off the grid house near Anaconda, Montana. Taking the Alternative Energy Plunge. When my wife and I moved to Montana last year, we found a comfortable home on several acres with a .

Parry Sound PowerGen Corporation (“Genco”) owns the generating assets including the land, control dams, the rights to control the watershed, the building and fixtures and a rental building and related ph-vs.com is responsible for those activities relating to the generation of power.

Until Market Opening on May 1, , Genco charged Wiresco . 52 places to remind you what a wonderful world this is. Sustainable Business provides daily green news from across the world.

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