Rooftop solar panels and home battery systems could play a significant role in balancing the nation’s electric grid, but federal regulators need to adopt policies to help make that happen, according to a clean energy group’s recent report.
Los Angeles has been sitting on a contract for record-cheap solar power for more than a month — and city officials declined to approve it because of concerns raised by the city-run utility’s labor union, which is still fuming over Mayor Eric Garcetti’s decision to shut down three gas-fired power plants.
Texas offers an instructive case study for the growth of renewable energy. Most of the state’s electricity is delivered through the deregulated Electric Reliability Council of Texas market. The state has long since surpassed its mandated renewable portfolio standard, so market dynamics dictate the ongoing pace of renewables growth. Nonetheless, Texas is by far the country’s largest wind power generator and is slated to see major growth in solar capacity as well.
To spoil the ending: The answer is $20 per kilowatt hour in energy capacity costs. That’s how cheap storage would have to get for renewables to get to 100%. That’s around a 90% drop from today’s costs.
The energy storage market is set to be the latest affected by Trump’s trade war as lithium-ion batteries were excluded from the group of Chinese imports for which the U.S. president announced tariffs would be delayed until December 15.
As efficiency and reliability have improved, and manufacturing costs have tumbled, lithium-ion batteries have surged. They account for more than 80% of the U.S.’s utility-scale battery-storage power capacity.
To see which types of these algorithms work best at getting the most out of lithium-ion batteries, researchers developed models based off the amount of power generated over the course of a year from a medium-sized roughly 100-kilowatt solar cell array located in Navarre, Spain.
Los Angeles Power and Water officials have struck a deal on the largest and cheapest solar + battery-storage project in the world, at prices that leave fossil fuels in the dust and may relegate nuclear power to the dustbin.