Category Archives: Solar Power

The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)

Electric cars and cheap solar ‘could halt fossil fuel growth by 2020’

Solar power and clean cars are ‘gamechangers’ consistently underestimated by big energy, says Imperial College and Carbon Tracker report

Falling costs of electric vehicles and solar panels could halt worldwide growth in demand for oil and coal by 2020, a new report has suggested.

A scenario that takes into account the latest cost reduction projections for the green technologies, and countries’ pledges to cut emissions, finds that solar power and electric vehicles are “gamechangers” that could leave fossil fuels stranded.

The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)
By 2035, electric vehicles could make up 35% of the road transport market, and two-thirds by 2050 (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)

Polluting fuels could lose 10% of market share to solar power and clean cars within a decade, the report by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative found.

A 10% loss of market share was enough to cause the collapse of the coal mining industry in the US, while Europe’s five major utilities lost €100bn (£85bn) between 2008 and 2013 because they did not prepare for an 8% increase in renewables, the report said.

Big energy companies are seriously underestimating the low-carbon transition by sticking to their “business as usual” scenarios which expect continued growth of fossil fuels, and could see their assets “stranded”, the study claims.

Emerging technology, such as printable solar photovoltaics which generate electricity, could bring down costs and boost take-up even more than currently predicted.

Luke Sussams, a senior researcher at Carbon Tracker, said:

“Electric vehicles and solar power are gamechangers that the fossil fuel industry consistently underestimates.

“Further innovation could make our scenarios look conservative in five years’ time, in which case the demand misread by companies will have been amplified even more.”

Read more: The Guardian

Energy companies are dead already, they just haven’t realised it

“The stone age came to an end, not for lack of stones, and the oil age will end, but not for lack of oil” (Sheikh Yamani OPEC co-founder and former Saudi Arabian oil minister)

Electricity companies around the world will begin to go bankrupt by 2018, even while they generate profits. It sounds absurd doesn’t it? However, hear me out.

By now everyone has read the headlines. “Tesla Powerwall changes everything, electricity death spiral, energy storage revolution, the Kodak moment for electricity etc.” This was the hype of 2015.

In 2016, reality set in, many households realised a $A17,999 5kW SolarEdge system with a 7kWh Tesla Powerwall would take about 17 years to pay back. These were sobering figures considering most equipment warranties are only 10-12 years. However, in just 2 years this payback equation will be radically different. It will rock the very foundations of modern society, creating and destroying fortunes across the planet.

Read more: Renew Economy

Solar charging a BMW i3 electric car

One feature of the i3 that wasn’t available on my previous Renault ZOE is the ability to change at very low powers. Of course that means charging can be very slow.

The benefit of this option, which may not be obvious, is that it means the current draw is a good match for solar panels. In other words the car can be entirely charged by solar with nothing being drawn from the grid. Free fuel!

Welcome to Tesla Town

Less than six months after Australia received its first shipment of Tesla Powerwalls, plans for what could be the world’s first “Tesla town” – a mini-suburb on the outskirts of the Melbourne CBD whose new-build homes will include rooftop solar and Tesla battery storage as standard design features – are being unveiled by local property group Glenvill, as the green development’s first 60 homes go on sale this week.

Tesla Town, Melbourne

The new 16.46 hectare suburb, which will be called YarraBend for its 300 metres of Yarra River frontage, will include around 2,500 new dwellings – a mix of free standing houses, townhouses and apartments with three to five bedrooms, ranging in price from $1.48 million to $2.1 million.

The project is being designed, developed and built by Glenvill, which bills it as a “world first Tesla suburb” for its inclusion “within houses” of the iconic US company’s sleek-looking 7kWh lithium-ion Powerwall batteries, presumably to store energy from the houses’ rooftop solar systems, the sizes of which are not yet disclosed.

Houses in the development will also feature electric car recharging points, while residents will have access to high-speed internet, a “tech-concierge”, and a YarraBend app, that will connect them to a variety of amenities and information within the community, including public transport timetables, home delivery menus, carpooling arrangements and social events.

Read more: One Step off the Grid

National Grid wants the batteries to help it cope with the challenges of more wind and solar power (Image: PA)

New batteries to help Britain keep the lights on

Eight new battery storage projects are to be built around the UK after winning contracts worth £66m to help National Grid keep power supplies stable as more wind and solar farms are built.

EDF Energy, E.On and Vattenfall were among the successful companies chosen to build new lithium-ion batteries with a combined capacity of 200 megawatts (MW), under a new scheme to help Grid balance supply and demand within seconds.

National Grid wants the batteries to help it cope with the challenges of more wind and solar power (Image: PA)
National Grid wants the batteries to help it cope with the challenges of more wind and solar power (Image: PA)

Power generation and usage on the UK grid have to be matched as closely as possible in real-time to keep electricity supplies at a safe frequency so that household electrical appliances function properly.

Read more: Telegraph

The floating solar farm on Godley Reservoir near Manchester (Image: A. Cooper/Guardian)

If wind and solar power are cheaper and quicker, do we really need Hinkley Point?

Nuclear energy’s cost, and a focus on alternative technology, including research on a new generation of hi-tech battery storage, is leading observers outside the green lobby to question the project’s value

Should Theresa May take the axe to the troubled Hinkley Point nuclear project, it will propel wind and solar power further into the limelight. And for renewable technologies to become really effective, Britain and the rest of the world need breakthroughs in electricity storage to allow intermittent power to be on tap 24/7, on a large scale and for the right price.

Cheap, light and long-life batteries are the holy grail, and achieving this requires the expertise of people like Cambridge professor Clare Grey. The award winning Royal Society fellow is working on the basic science behind lithium-air batteries, which can store five times the energy in the same space as the current rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that are widely used today.

The floating solar farm on Godley Reservoir near Manchester (Image: A. Cooper/Guardian)
The floating solar farm on Godley Reservoir near Manchester (Image: A. Cooper/Guardian)

She is also focusing on sodium-ion and redox flow batteries; the latter store power in a liquid form, contained in vats or tanks that in theory can easily be scaled up to power-grid sizes.

“There has been an amazing transformation in this field. There is an explosion of interest and I am extremely lucky to have decided early on to concentrate on this area,”

she says, although she is keen to play down the idea that a eureka moment is just around the corner.

She is also thankful for Hinkley – if only because of the government’s long-term funding deal with EDF Energy that it gave rise to.

“It has put a price on [future] electricity in the market which is high, and this has potentially opened up further commercial space for new technologies such as batteries. But independent of Hinkley we do need better batteries and my chemistry will hopefully help find them,” she says.

The wisdom of bringing in the Chinese to help EDF, the French state-owned utility company, construct the proposed new Somerset reactors has been highlighted as a key factor behind the government’s reluctance to push the go button.

But ministers are also aware that, in the last 18 months, many experts in the field have concluded that the biggest argument against the plant is not that it is too expensive, at £18.5bn, but that the kind of “on-all-the-time” power it delivers is no longer what is required.

Read more: The Guardian

Mavero Home Energy Storage Systems Offers Up To 9.6 kW Output For Charging

Kreisel Electric, which is building a new battery facility “3K One” in Austria, announced a new home energy storage solution – the MAVERO.

13537569_mavero_storage_kreisel

The Kreisel MAVERO is to be available from 2017 in four versions (each under €700/kWh *pre-tax):

  • 8 kWh / 4.8 kW / €5.590
  • 11 kWh / 4.8 kW / €7.530
  • 16 kWh / 9.6 kW / €10.860
  • 22 kWh / 9.6 kW / €14.740

The MAVERO reminds us a lot of the Tesla Powerwall, although each block is higher energy, and higher power.

If everything goes well, MAVERO should work for over 20 years, while the first 10 years is guaranteed.

“Kreisel Electric presents MAVERO, the highly efficient and beautifully designed home energy storage system

MAVERO is a highly efficient and flexible energy storage system for private and commercial application. Thanks to the modular design, each unit can be tailored precisely to individual conditions. The flexible home storage system will be available in four different sizes. The battery packs are based on Li-ion technology and the usable capacity ranges from 8 kWh to 22 kWh. The elegantly designed casing is available in two colours and communicates all charge and discharge activities by means of LED visualisation.

Berlin, 15. June 2016 Everyone is talking about renewable energy sources and the energy transition. One major problem for practical implementation, however, is the lack of suitable storage technology for irregular energy production. Austrian manufacturer of high performance batteries Kreisel Electric presented a viable solution for private households and commercial application at the Motorwerk in Berlin on June 15.

The new home storage system MAVERO – be self-sufficient

The name comes from the Italian language (“ma vero”) and translates roughly as “but true”. It is “true” that you can now supply yourself with energy from renewable sources – and, in the ideal scenario, even “fill up” your electric car. MAVERO enables independence from natural fluctuations in supply (e.g. wind lulls or insufficient sunlight) and worsening feed-in compensation from energy providers.

“The market is crying out for a high-end energy storage technology solution that is also stylish and really worth it for everyone,” stated Markus Kreisel, Marketing Manager with Kreisel Electric, at the premiere in Berlin.
Electricity storage with an elegant outfit

MAVERO is a wall-mounted home energy storage system that stores electricity from any renewable energy source. With its sophisticated design and a size of 105 x 140 cm (w x h), it can be installed in almost any interior space – even in the living room. MAVERO will be available in four versions, ranging from 8 to 22 kWh output volume, and a weight of 70 kg to 170 kg. The discharge power ranges from 4.8 to 9.6 kW in the voltage range from 288 to 384 V. Owners of electric vehicles in particular will be pleased, since the system enables accelerated loading with 100% self-generated electricity. Compared to competitors, the efficiency rate is unrivalled at 96% and the space requirement is considerably lower. With an installation volume of 1.95 dm3/kWh, Kreisel is able to achieve 70% more capacity in the MAVERO system in roughly the same size, thanks to their proprietary high-performance batteries.
Modular design and moderate price

The system is modular and can be installed quickly by a single technician at a relatively low cost. The modular design also offers flexible optimization based on your energy needs, since additional modules can be added later. An innovative lighting design (ambient interface LED) communicates the battery level and the charge and discharge activities. Kreisel Electric also wants to break new ground in terms of the price with their new “Kreisel Energy” division. Ultimately, the retail price should be under €700 per kWh.
Home storage paving the way for the energy revolution

MAVERO is designed to provide enough energy each day for the average household. The models MAVERO 20 and 28 have a higher capacity for more demanding applications like charging electric cars.

Read more: Inside EVs

SolarCity System With Tesla Powerwall

Tesla & SolarCity Finalize $2.6 Billion Deal

[From 1 August] The Tesla Motors merger with SolarCity, announced first approximately on month ago, becomes reality today.

SolarCity System With Tesla Powerwall
SolarCity System With Tesla Powerwall

Both companies will combine in all stock deal, in which SolarCity stockholders will receive 0.110 Tesla common shares per SolarCity share.

Total equity value of SolarCity stands at ~ $2.6 billion, while Tesla is valuated at approximately $34-$35 billion.

The transaction is to be closed in Q4.

SolarCity now has a 45-day period known as a “go-shop” to see whether there are better options for stockholders.

Elon Musk, who owns more than 20% of shares in both companies, argued that the merger is needed to achieve synergy between solar energy (SolarCity) and energy storage systems (Tesla Motors). After the combination, Tesla will be able to offer various products in the one-stop solar + storage experience.

Read more: Inside EVs