Tag Archives: Siemens

Solar and wind’s competitiveness over coal is accelerating, analysis shows

By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Energy News Network

“The Energy Innovation analysis does not factor in the
social costs of coal-fired power plants.”

The May 5 analysis comes from Energy Innovation: Policy & Technology, based in San Francisco. The work highlights the accelerating pace of the clean energy transition, even aside from the social costs of coal plant pollution.

“Out of the 235 plants in the U.S. coal fleet, 182 plants, or 80 percent, are uneconomic or already retiring,” according to the report, which counted plants in service in 2018. Put another way, the share of total U.S. coal plant capacity from that year that won’t be competitive beyond the next few years has climbed from roughly five-eighths to three-fourths in just two years. Read more here.

NPPD Photo: Gerald Gentleman 1,365MW coal-fired power plant in Sutherland

Kathiann M. Kowalski

Kathiann M. Kowalski is the author of 25 books and more than 600 articles, and writes often on science and policy issues. In addition to her journalism career, Kathi is an alumna of Harvard Law School and has spent 15 years practicing law. She is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers. Kathi covers the state of Ohio. More by Kathiann M. Kowalski

Previously Posted Articles by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

  • Solar firm buying land rights near coal plants with eye toward transmission
    Josh Case, Photosol’s chief executive officer, intends to develop two arrays — one with 400 megawatts and one with 250 megawatts — on 5,000 acres he has under lease option near Nebraska’s Gerald Gentleman station. He pays an annual fee to maintain the option to lease the acreage. The projects would include 325 MW of battery storage.
  • Nebraska utility could slash emissions at little or no added cost, studies show
    The Nebraska Public Power District, which serves most of the state’s population outside the cities of Omaha and Lincoln, last year hired two firms to forecast the potential impact of federal carbon regulations. The results, by Ascend Analytics and Siemens, both conclude that the utility could significantly reduce its exposure to such policies without burdening customers with severe rate hikes. 

HIGH-CAPACITY EV CHARGERS 

Report finds increase in high-capacity EV chargers could benefit utilities, by Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association

The premise of the report, Charging Smart, is that an increase in the maximum power level of residential electric vehicle (EV) chargers is imminent and will likely reach the highest charger levels within a decade, leading to increased costs for utilities by shifting charging load to times of day when electricity is more expensive. 

The authors recommended that utilities should explore time variant rate options, as well as hybrid pricing options that offer higher fixed rates from 6am to midnight and discounted fixed rates from midnight to 6am. Utilities should also consider incentives for the deployment of smart charging technologies, such as owner-operated programmable charging systems and direct charge control functions in conjunction with pricing signals. And, finally, the authors say utilities should establish outreach campaigns to influence customer behaviors to shift charging patterns. 

“What’s so promising about this analysis is the clear opportunity to push innovation that will use vehicle electrification to create a more reliable electric grid and maximize greenhouse gas reductions,” Suzanne Russo, Pecan Street CEO, said in a statement.

Nebraska utility could slash emissions at little or no added cost, studies show

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

Nebraska’s largest electric utility could dramatically reduce carbon emissions over the next three decades at little or no cost to ratepayers, according to a pair of recent reports prepared for the utility’s board of directors. The path — and cost — of completely eliminating emissions by midcentury, though, becomes far less certain.

The Nebraska Public Power District, which serves most of the state’s population outside the cities of Omaha and Lincoln, last year hired two firms to forecast the potential impact of federal carbon regulations. The results, by Ascend Analytics and Siemens, both conclude that the utility could significantly reduce its exposure to such policies without burdening customers with severe rate hikes. Continue reading here.

NPPD Photo: Gerald Gentleman 1,365MW coal-fired power plant in Sutherland

Also Written by Karen Uhlenhuth

Nebraska Legislation: LB483: Provide for a climate change study and action plan

Company plans to build 15 utility-scale storage plants in Texas

By Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association 

Independent power producer Broad Reach Power plans to build 15 utility-scale battery storage plants totaling 150 megawatts (MW) in areas near Houston and Odessa, Texas. The Houston-based company is building the storage plants on a merchant basis “on our balance sheet” and aims to sell the output into the wholesale power market run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Steve Vavrik, managing partner and CEO, said.

Texas leads the nation in wind power with over 29,000 MW of installed wind turbines. Solar power is also gaining ground in Texas with ERCOT reporting 1,500 MW of installed utility scale solar projects and 4,300 MW of solar projects, out of 40,000 MW under study, that have already signed interconnection agreements and could be in service by year end. Read more here.

AWEA Free Use Wind Energy Image Gallery: Suzion Wind Farm in Texas

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

21 CAMPUSES’ AGGREGATED RENEWABLE ENERGY RFP

Higher-ed consortium partners on renewable energy, Cornell Chronicle
Cornell is among 21 higher-education institutions in New York submitting a collaborative request for proposals to purchase renewable electric energy from sources built over the next 2 ½ years in New York state. Technologies such as solar, wind and hydroelectric could be considered as part of the solicited requests for proposals (RFP). The RFP, which launched June 11, aggregates the campuses’ renewable electricity needs in an effort to lower financial barriers and reduce risk.

CAMPUS MICROGRIDS

Campus Microgrids Emerge as Solution to Energy Challenges in Higher Education, Microgrid Knowledge.

This special report series on campus microgrids and reliable, renewable energy in higher education begins with an entry that explores the energy goals of today’s colleges and universities — and how to reach them. Download the full report, The Genius of Microgrids in Higher Education, courtesy of Siemens, to further explore the potential of microgrids on college and university campuses. 

PAYING IOWA FARMERS TO SEQUESTER CARBON

Inside Cargill’s experiment to pay farmers for carbon sequestration, by Heather Clancy,            GreenBiz. While Cargill is the only named company participating in the new fund, Mark Lambert, director of Quantified Ventures, said it is in discussion with other large companies.

SOLAR & WIND AS FARM PRODUCTS

Deborah J. Comstock: Solar and wind should be considered farm products as well, Monroe Evening News

In an age where we are redefining much of our infrastructure and industries, farming should be no different. 
Deborah J. Comstock is an Adrian farm owner and board member of Lenawee Indivisible. 

NEW COALITION

Land & Liberty Coalition launches Iowa chapter, Business Record
The Iowa Land & Liberty Coalition is a project of the Iowa Conservative Energy Forum, a clean-energy organization focused on state-level policy, according to the release announcing its formation. “Iowa farmers and landowners are the bedrock of our state and by partnering with them to engage in utility-scale siting efforts we hope to advance energy policies that make way for clean energy while respecting property rights,” Jake Ketzner, ICEF executive director, said in the release. 

HAPPY GLOBAL WIND DAY! 

Know The History And Objective of the Day That Highlights the Power of Wind Energy, Reve

The World Wind Day event is celebrated worldwide in more than 80 countries annually.

NextEra’s secret recipe for energy storage: Planning

Sponsored Content by Siemens, Utility Dive

NextEra Energy, North America’s leading wind and solar generator, is adopting an aggressive approach on the falling cost of energy storage by evaluating the addition of batteries to its existing solar facilities. A small but growing number of utilities across the United States are taking a similar approach to NextEra and adding storage at existing solar plants. In doing so, they can claim the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), tap additional revenue streams, and maximize the existing grid infrastructure. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

Upcoming webinar hosted by Utility Dive, NextEra Energy, and Siemens Digital Grid:
Energy Storage – Moving the Needle, April 9, 2020 at 12 pm.

WOOD MACKENZIE RESEARCH

Analyst expects recovery for PV and storage supply chains, PV Magazine
Business intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie says the COVID-19 outbreak will jeopardize solar project completion in the short term, affect supply chains to various degrees and potentially erode demand for PV. However, “Asian-dominant supply chains for solar and energy storage are in the process of rebounding after contractions in February,” the analyst stated, adding: “Near-term development activity and local logistics in leading European and North American markets are expected to outweigh lingering supply issues.”

NAVIGANT GLOBAL MARKET REPORT 

A Boom Is Coming for All-Electric Homes Despite Lagging Consumer Awareness, Greentech Media
“Electrification technologies are rapidly becoming more cost-effective and more reliable than fossil fuel systems in a variety of planning scenarios and climatic conditions,” Daniel Talero and Neil Strother, research analysts at Navigant Research, wrote in a new report on the global market for “fully electrified home” technologies.

NEW DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ANNOUNCEMENT

New Solar Energy Innovation Network Teams Announced, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy News Release

[On March 23rd] the U.S. Department of Energy selected eight teams to participate in the second round of the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN), a program that supports multi-stakeholder teams pursuing new applications of solar energy and other distributed energy resources in unique locations and contexts. The solutions developed by the teams are demonstrated and validated in real-world contexts, making them ready for replication and scale. 

The second round of teams will research innovations to help increase solar energy adoption and resilience in rural communities and at the commercial scale. Their research projects will include resilience solutions that pair solar energy with energy storage, which allows the use of solar energy when the sun is not shining, and microgrids, which can function independently to deliver power in the event of a larger grid outage.

Previously Posted DOE News Release: Department of Energy Announces $125.5 Million in New Funding for Solar Technologies

EXAMPLES OF ON-THE-JOB SOLAR TRAINING

How to get a job building utility-scale solar, PV Magazine
As more utility-scale solar installations are announced in more states, solar contractors are hiring people who are new to the industry, and offering on-the-job training and long-term employment.

FLOATING WIND PROJECTS

Total Becomes Latest Oil Major to Enter Floating Wind Market, Greentech Media
Building on its solar momentum, Total this week invested in a U.K. floating wind project and acquired a French wind developer.

NYSERDA’S RECENT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

New York allocates 1 GW of solar as renewables auction delivers $18.59/MWh average price, PV Magazine. The results of NYSERDA’s most recent renewable energy request for proposals are in. 21 large-scale renewable projects totaling 1,278 MW in new capacity have been awarded, with 17 of those projects and 1,090 MW being solar.

ENERGY CONSERVATION TIPS FROM OPPD

Staying home doesn’t have to mean higher bills, The Wire

Argonne and University of Illinois to form hydrogen fuel cell coalition

News Release, Argonne National Laboratory

“With the coalition, we want to raise awareness of the potential for hydrogen and fuel cells — to provide energy resilience and security, reduce emissions and foster economic growth — so we can enable their adoption in the Midwest region,” said Ted Krause, Argonne’s fuel cell laboratory program manager and a department head with Argonne’s Chemical Sciences and Engineering division.

The states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas are home to a quarter of the U.S. population and consume 30 percent of electric power generated in the U.S. The states account for 35 percent of U.S.-installed wind capacity and while the region only produces about 4 percent of the nation’s solar energy, a number of pending large solar farms and community solar projects will greatly increase the region’s solar generating capacity. As a consequence, the Midwestern states have some of the highest levels of renewable energy on their grids. Hydrogen can be used as an effective storage medium to increase utilization of these renewable energy resources. Read more here.

International Green Hydrogen News

Siemens backs 5 GW green hydrogen plan for Australia, PV Magazine
A massive clean energy project aiming to produce green hydrogen powered by up to 5 GW of solar and wind generation capacity has been unveiled for Western Australia. In a significant early stage milestone, Hydrogen Renewables Australia has joined forces with Siemens to deploy the latter’s Silyzer electrolyzer at the Murchison project. Situated just north of the coastal town of Kalbarri in the midwest of the state, the location had been identified in a study by U.S. engineering multinational AECOM as one of Australia’s best for its combination of solar and wind potential.

Previously Posted

  • South Australia unveils plans for 100% renewable hydrogen economy, Renew Economy
    Recent studies have shown that the cost of wind and solar has fallen so dramatically, and the cost of electrolysers is also expected to fall at the same rate, that renewable hydrogen will be able to compete on costs with “brown” or “grey” hydrogen, used from coal or other fossil fuel sources.
  • The slow, inexorable rise of green hydrogen, PV Magazine
    The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) believes the production of hydrogen from renewables has the potential to deliver 19 exajoules of energy in 2050. Some 16 TW of solar and wind power generation capacity – 120 exajoules – may be needed to generate green hydrogen or related products from electrolysis by that point. Today the world hosts around 7 TW of total power generation capacity, around 1 TW of which comes from solar and wind, according to IRENA’s Hydrogen: A renewable energy perspective report. An International Energy Agency report on The Future of Hydrogen stated fossil-fueled production of the fuel is responsible for “annual CO
    2 emissions equivalent to those of Indonesia and the United Kingdom combined”.
  • Electrolysis breakthrough could solve the hydrogen conundrum, by Alexandr Simonov, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Published by Phys.Org. Australia, with its abundant sun and wind, has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. By using electrolysis, hydrogen gas could be created from excess electricity generated by large renewable electricity projects. This hydrogen could be used as a fuel within Australia and exported to countries hungry for fossil fuels alternatives.

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