Economics of Batteries for Stabilizing and Storage on Distribution Grids

January 15, 2016 by Willem Post

In the future, there will be much less consumption of energy from fossil fuels, and increasing annual percentages of PV solar energy on distribution grids. Those percentages may become as high as 33% of ALL energy. Any rational planning and design of energy systems, and the systems of the users, should be based on the world's fossil fuel bank account being depleted in not too distant future. Technologies are evolving to enable more generation closer to the user. Future buildings must be much more energy efficient regarding heating, cooling and electricity. Buildings must be at least “net-zero-energy”, but “energy surplus” would be better to offset building energy requirements, and to power electric heat pumps and charge electric cars. That means the role of the distribution grid would increase, and of the high voltage grid would decrease, but not eliminated.[read more]

ARPA-E Funds the Next Wave of Grid-Distributed Energy Integration

January 6, 2016 by Jeff St. John

ARPA-E and Energy Integration

Over the past year, the Department of Energy has been putting an increased focus on technology to integrate renewable energy into everyday grid operations. This work has included opening loan guarantees to distributed renewables, and grants to support field tests of distributed energy integration.[read more]

Grading My 2015 Energy Predictions

January 5, 2016 by Robert Rapier

The funny thing about predictions is that things are always obvious in hindsight. I rarely have people suggest that any of my predictions are either “no-brainers” or “impossible” when I make them. But when it comes time to grade them, I hear that a lot.[read more]

The Not in My Backyard Syndrome and Sustainability Infrastructure

January 5, 2016 by Steven Cohen

As our communities have gotten more crowded and transportation become more congested, it has become more difficult to site major facilities for waste management, water supply, sewage treatment, mass transit, and pretty much anything from a Big Box store to a homeless shelter.[read more]

Global Renewable Microgrid Deployment Growth in 2015 Set to Continue in 2016

January 1, 2016 by Arnaud Henin

Renewables and Microgrids

As 2015 draws to a close, it is time to review the progress and status of renewable microgrid development around the world. The past year has been a good one for renewable microgrids. There has been significant growth in the deployment, implementation and interest in renewable microgrids globally.[read more]

Flow Battery Builder UET Ends Year With $25M Investment From Japan's Orix

January 1, 2016 by Eric Wesoff

Flow Battery Investment

UniEnergy Technologies, a startup commercializing flow batteries in storage applications, just finished off 2015 with $25 million more in its electrolyte tanks. The round B of funding was led by Japan's Orix, a $19 billion financial services firm and renewables developer, along with UET's "current private equity investor."[read more]

Richard Lester's "A Roadmap for U.S. Nuclear Energy Innovation"

December 31, 2015 by Rod Adams

Nuclear Energy Future in the U.S.

Dr. Richard Lester, the Japan Steel Industry Professor and Associate Provost for International Activities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published a thought and discussion provoking piece titled A Roadmap for U.S. Nuclear Energy Innovation.[read more]

Cities End 2015 Showcasing Leadership on Energy Efficiency

December 31, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Urban Energy Efficiency

2015 was an exciting year to work on local sustainability issues, particularly climate change and energy efficiency. During the Paris talks in early December, more than 400 mayors convened to share their stories about fighting climate change.[read more]

Has OPEC Lost Control of the Price of Oil?

December 30, 2015 by Geoffrey Styles

OPEC and Oil Prices

For all the attention and speculation devoted to OPEC-watching whenever they meet, the question we should be asking about OPEC is whether the current situation shares enough of the elements that defined those periods in the past when the cartel's actual market control lived up to its reputation.[read more]

The Top 10 Energy Stories Of 2015

December 28, 2015 by Robert Rapier

Making the 2015 list was challenging, because so many of the stories are interrelated. Commodity prices continued to plummet, but oil, natural gas, and coal prices fell for somewhat different reasons. This of course resulted in the lowest gasoline prices in years, which was itself a big story.[read more]

7 Energy Storage Stories You Might Have Missed in 2015

December 25, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

Energy Storage in 2015

It's been a breakout year for energy storage. The U.S. energy storage market grew 185 percent, from $134 million in 2014 to $381 million in 2015. By 2020, it will be a $2 billion market, according to GTM Research. The growth in numbers has come largely from a few states and a few big trends.[read more]

Addressing Remaining Concerns About Nuclear Energy

December 24, 2015 by Rod Adams

In recent years, critical thinkers who have habitually objected to using nuclear energy have conceded that it has a good safety record and that its CO2 and other air pollution emissions are a tiny fraction of produced by the most efficient natural gas power plants.[read more]

Gear Up for a Violent Uranium Price Spike, Says Cantor Fitzgerald's Rob Chang

December 24, 2015 by Jim Patrick

The price of uranium is still in the doldrums, but that will change soon—and violently, says Rob Chang of Cantor Fitzgerald Canada. In this interview with The Energy Report,he explains that electric utilities will begin to run short of fuel even before 2020, when 33 additional reactors are expected to come on line.[read more]

We Are at Peak Oil Now; We Need Very Low-Cost Energy to Fix It

December 23, 2015 by Gail Tverberg

Peak Oil and Risk

This past week, I gave a presentation to a group interested in a particular type of renewable energy–solar energy that is deployed in space, so it would provide electricity 24 hours per day. Their question was: how does the production cost of electricity really need to be?[read more]

Next Steps for China on Paris Climate Agreement

December 15, 2015 by Barbara Finamore

China has committed to peak its CO2 emissions by 2030 and to make best efforts to peak earlier. It will increase non-fossil energy to 20% of its energy consumption by 2030, which will require it to install 800 to 1,000 gigawatts in non-fossil capacity, equivalent to the entire current US generating capacity.[read more]