The amount of storage needed to make renewables reliable is so huge that even if the cost dropped fantastically we still could not afford it.
Energy policy needs to be based on sound engineering estimates, not wishful fantasies.
“I’m literally saying get rid of all subsidies, but also for oil and gas.” – Elon Musk
A proposed lithium mine on federal land in western Nevada may be brought low by – of all things -- buckwheat.
It turns out storing Megawatts of high density energy in a confined space is “like a bomb”. Who could have seen that coming, apart from everyone who understands what a megawatt is?
There may not be enough minerals and metals in the world to build all the electric vehicles climate campaigners want to mandate and subsidize.
California has hooked up a grid battery system that is almost ten times bigger than the previous world record holder, but when it comes to making renewables reliable it is so small it might as well not exist. The new battery array is rated at a storage capacity of 1,200 megawatt hours (MWh); easily eclipsing the record holding 129 MWh Australian system built by Tesla a few years ago. However, California peaks at a whopping 42,000 MW. If that happened on a hot, low wind night this supposedly big battery would keep the lights on for just 1.7 minutes (that's 103 [...]
Lithium-ion batteries have their pluses. Their energy density is typically twice that of the tradition nickel-cadmium ones. They are low maintenance. And their discharge is less than half compared to regular batteries. Despite these advantages, however, they do have some environmental drawbacks. One is the fact that they use rare-earth metals like cobalt and nickel – metals that are not only expensive, but are often mined in developing countries with minimal environmental standards. For this reason, a number of firms have been transitioning over to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. Not only don’t LFP’s not rely on rare-earths, but they also [...]
The large-scale battery storage folks make their case. Listen now.
We have all witnessed gigantic cost over runs on government projects, but overrunning the cost 8 fold may be a record. We are quite certain of our numbers.
Batteries must be disposed of every few years, the tonnage of toxins will skyrocket, and so will the costs.
A bioengineering professor from MIT, has developed a process that uses viruses to build the positive and negative electrodes of lithium-ion batteries.
Large-scale storage is only an insignificant part of the electrical power industry and doomed to remain so for decades to come. Intermittent wind and solar remain a foolish energy choice.