“Support Your Local Power Grid” Why cheap solar doesn’t solve everything

2015 has proven to be another record year for clean power globally. As for 2016, wind and solar are cheaper than ever, the US just signed a major climate change agreement in Paris and everyone seems to hate coal, so look for another record year. On top of this, the “Internet of Things” and energy efficiency technologies promise to make us more efficient than ever before. With some obvious exceptions, the global market place seems to be embracing a reduced dependence on fossil fuels.

Despite the optimism, major shifts such as this can create new problems. Increased intermittency of the generation base is one of these, and while the US has found itself flush with natural gas that can provide the needed back-up power, it just isn’t that simple. Continue reading the article at Renewable Energy World…

We Need a Better Way to Compare the Performance of Energy Storage Technologies

Grid-scale energy storage is getting a lot of attention this year. Pricing has come down and perceived value has come up — expanding the commercial viability of different technologies.

But the story is much more complicated. There are plenty of important technical and market-based nuances that need to be considered.

Technically speaking, battery chemistries drive performance, and they vary greatly. New nomenclature and standards are needed for comparing batteries across applications. As anyone who has cycled batteries in the lab will attest, the lifetime of the battery is dependent on how the battery is used and under what conditions. Continue reading the article at Green Tech Media…

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We Need a Better Way to Compare the Performance of Energy Storage Technologies

We Need a Better Way to Compare the Performance of Energy Storage Technologies

What’s the best metric for evaluating storage? No one has come up with one yet.

Grid-scale energy storage is getting a lot of attention this year. Pricing has come down and perceived value has come up — expanding the commercial viability of different technologies.

But the story is much more complicated. There are plenty of important technical and market-based nuances that need to be considered.

Technically speaking, battery chemistries drive performance, and they vary greatly. New nomenclature and standards are needed for comparing batteries across applications. As anyone who has cycled batteries in the lab will attest, the lifetime of the battery is dependent on how the battery is used and under what conditions.

Performance turns out to be difficult to communicate using a spec sheet, and vendors self-select the data they share. Consequently, the energy storage business has a bad reputation for over-promising.

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