How do we get off carbon-based energy fast?
olliej last edited by
Renewable energy sources currently provide only a small percentage of our energy. A lot of the problem comes from the variability of wind and solar. Nuclear power is super expensive and faces regulatory issues.
Realistically, what does the path to decarbonization in as short a time frame as possible as possible?
Eric Chaves last edited by Eric Chaves
Hi @olliej, thanks for posing this question. This truly is the crux of society's existential crisis.
Large-scale energy storage will be hugely important. It's clear that we must grow our renewable energy sources like wind and solar. But as you mentioned, variability is a huge problem. To ameliorate this, we need to build vast amounts of energy storage.
I have lots of research on the topic that I would be happy to share. I'm working on addressing this challenge with my startup, Terrament.
Here are some articles and research about energy storage:
- Electricity and Energy Storage
- BloombergNEF - Energy Storage Investments Boom As Battery Costs Halve
- Storage Requirements and Costs of Shaping Renewable Energy Toward Grid Decarbonization
- Projecting the Future Levelized Cost of Electricity Storage Technologies
- Pumped Energy Storage: Vital to California’s Renewable Energy Future
- Terrament's Feasibility Study on Underground Pumped Hydro Storage
Eric Vanular last edited by
@olliej good discussion fodder.
I think a lot of it comes from structural change as @rikard mentioned in the Brainstorming thread. Getting high level governmental commitment and change is of course crucial.
In terms of personal impact, making a transition towards clean distributed energy resources (i.e rooftop solar, small-scale combined heat/power, residential smart thermostats, electric vehicles, and behind-the-meter batteries) will help the resiliency of the grid and allow us to get higher renewables penetration. It seems like there might eventually be an inflection point at which individuals will exponentially switch to managing their personal energy profiles through these methods. If it is ever cheaper to do so, the switch won't take long
@Eric-Chaves thanks for these sources, they're super interesting. I almost feel like each one could spur its own discussion or thread. I'm specifically interested in the LCOE for storage tech. Realistically, how do the cost curves of storage +wind/solar look when compared to the conventional alternatives? I feel like that will decide when the transition will really start in earnest
Eric Chaves last edited by Eric Chaves
@ecojoy Hey, good question. Research papers like the third one above predict that wind+solar+storage will indeed be cost-competitive with traditional energy. Sorry that paper is behind a paywall.. Here is a vox article summarizing the findings as well.
As explained, the LCOS of storage needs to be about $20/
KWh(*MWh ) to hit our 100% renewables target. However, getting to 90-95% renewables is a more "realistic" target, and that only requires about a $150/ KWh(*MWh) target.
Li-ion storage is already closing in on a $150/
KWh(*MWh) LCOS target. Terrament believes we can hit a LCOS of under $100/ KWh(*MWh). Our most optimistic estimate could get us way lower closer to $20/ KWh(*MWh) (under 2 cents per kWh).
* Oops, apologies, I realized I mixed up all the units above. kWh has been corrected to MWh. See feasibility study above for details.
Felix G last edited by
@Eric-Chaves Have you seen the new LCOS projections from Bloomberg New Energy Finance? Really encouraging numbers!
Eric Chaves last edited by
(I just realized I typed kWh instead of MWh above, doh! I corrected it now with a note.)
Do you mean this report right? https://about.bnef.com/new-energy-outlook
I only have access to the summary. But I am using that data in my UPHS feasibility study. (See Section 14 UPHS Versus Lithium-Ion Chemical Batteries)
Yeah, those LCOS projections for Li-ion are promising! And it will be great for all of our Li-ion needs including fields like transportation where energy density is critical. But as my report shows, it looks like UPHS still has a much cheaper LCOS even taking into account those projected price drops. So I think UPHS looks like a cheaper, lower-risk alternative for bulk utility-scale storage.