Intermittency issues of wind and solar power supply are feared to jeopardize the stability of the U.S. power grid. To remedy this issue scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an “air-breathing” battery storage that, at the cheapest, run about $100 per kilowatt hour (kWh) and function only in certain locations.
Falling costs for renewables and energy storage will squeeze out gas-fired generation in South Australia as early as 2025, Wood Mackenzie and GTM Research find. By then, wind, solar and battery costs are seen decline by 15%, 25% and 50% respectively – hence they offer a “lower cost alternative” to CCGTs, which cover the bulk of South Australia’s base load power today.
Just days after launching a transformation plan, NRG Energy has disclosed it will divest 6 GW of conventional power generation capacity, and 50-100% of its renewable energy arm, NRG Yield. The American utility said it hoped to raise between $2.5 billion and $4 billion in cash proceeds from the sale. Mauricio Gutierrez, NRG president and CEO said underlined the board’s “commitment to simplify and strengthen the company to thrive through any market cycle.”
The Caribbean island of Aruba’s main electric utility, WEB Aruba, has awarded a contract to ABB to supply an advanced microgrid in order to help integrate solar and wind energy through production forecasting and real-time optimization of operations.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), California’s largest public-owned utility, is reconsidering plans to spend over $2 billion on natural gas and power infrastructure. The company’s board confirmed it "has put on hold all planned local repowering projects until a system-wide, in-depth, and independent study/analysis is conducted." Falling costs for renewables, and rising green energy supply, has inspired the California Senate to propose a 100% renewable energy target by 2045.
Large-scale uptake of variable renewable energy (VRE), forecast to remain the fasted-growing power source over the next five years, is challenging traditional policy, market and regulatory frameworks. “Without taking appropriate action, this complexity can act as a brake as countries seek to add ever larger shares of VRE to their power systems,” analysts at the International Energy Administration (IEA) warn.
Competitive natural gas prices, growth in renewables generation, EU air quality directives and weak electricity consumption have squeezed the role of coal in Europe's power mix, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit finds. The EU market environment for coal-fired power is described as "a tough one," with little upside potential.
Wind has emerged as a key renewable energy source (RES) technology throughout Europe, impacting cross-border electricity flows. Societe Generale analysis shows that Germany’s rising intermittent supply from wind and solar installations affects both flows and prices at home as well as in neighbouring countries such as France and the Netherlands, with a distinct seasonal effect.
India, the last resort for the beleaguered seaborne thermal coal market, has seen imports plunge 34% last month. “The last flicker of hope has been snuffed out, not least for Australia’s Galilee Basin,” commented Tim Buckley, director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
UK waste utility Northcumbrian Water is preparing to launch the £8m Howdon gas-to-grid plant project, which uses sewage treatment as a source of feed for gas used in home heating, now in the final stages of commissioning. It will generate 88 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy per year.