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Pathways to Terawatts of Solar Power and Gigawatt-Hours of Energy Storage

Pathways to Terawatts of Solar Power and Gigawatt-Hours of Energy Storage

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Experts Outline Pathway for Generating Up to 10 Terawatts of Power From Sunlight by 2030

The annual potential of solar energy far exceeds the world’s per-year energy consumption, but the goal of using the sun to provide a significant fraction of global electricity demand is far from being realized. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and their counterparts from similar institutes in Japan and Germany, along with researchers at universities and industry, assessed the recent trajectory of photovoltaics and outlined a potential worldwide pathway to produce a significant portion of the world’s electricity from solar power in the new Science paper, “Terawatt-Scale Photovoltaics: Trajectories and Challenges.

Fifty-seven experts met in Germany in March 2016 for a gathering of the Global Alliance of Solar Energy Research Institutes (GA-SERI), where they discussed what policy initiatives and technology advances are needed to support significant expansion of solar power over the next couple of decades.

Energy Storage Report: Europe Chases GWh Energy Storage

Gaelectric’s Larne project funding approval this month has focused attention on European efforts to develop large-scale storage technologies that could rival pumped hydro.

Dublin, Ireland-based Gaelectric was granted €90M in European Union backing for a compressed-air energy storage (CAES) project due to be built in Larne, east Antrim, on the Northern Irish coast.

The funding came on top of €15M in previous grants, the BBC reported. The Larne CAES project, due for completion around 2022, is a European project of common interest that will generate up to 330 MW of power for up to 6 hours.

Being developed in association with Dresser-Rand, it will store compressed air in two caverns located in salt deposits below ground. When needed, the air would be reheated using natural gas and, on expansion, drive a turbine.
Denver Post (opinion): NREL Is a Driver of Cutting-Edge Research and Industry

What you might already know is, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve ever been in modern times. What you might not know is, that’s thanks in part to a federally funded lab, right here in Colorado, doing cutting-edge energy-increasing research. So it’s a shock that in the president’s proposed budget, it is on the chopping block.

Of course if you don’t want better gas mileage and cheaper electricity and more efficient buildings and sustainable sources of energy that will never melt away (not to mention the economic impact of what Fortune magazine measures as more than 4 million renewable energy jobs), it doesn’t much matter. But like it or not, our fossil fuels won’t last forever. Renewables — sun, wind, biomass, hydropower and others — will be around as long as we live, and beyond. Which is why research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden — you can see it against the mesa, just north of Interstate 70 — does matter. It’s a story of public-private partnerships.

Take cars, for example. Since its formation 40 years ago, NREL has partnered with most of the big automakers, including America’s Big Three.

News on 6: Why Did Oklahoma Eliminate Wind Energy Tax Credits?

Oklahoma’s wind industry will no longer enjoy tax breaks after July 1 of this year.

That’s the latest decision from Governor Mary Fallin, who signed House Bill 2298 into law Monday. Lawmakers estimated the decision would save taxpayers about $500 million over the next decade.

Oklahoma is one of the nation’s top wind energy producers. It’s the third-highest producing state in the nation, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

So why choose to get rid of tax credits now?

Industry insiders say the timing of the decision does make sense.

Daily Kos: Rick Perry Forgets That Wind Energy Works

First Rick Perry forgot about the Department of Energy. Then he forgot what the Department of Energy did. Now that he’s actually, unbelievably, in charge of that same department, ThinkProgress reports that Perry seems to have forgotten where energy comes from.

Perry wrote in the memo, first reported by Bloomberg, that the United States is “blessed as a nation to have an abundance of domestic energy resources, such as coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric.” These sources provide a “stable, reliable and resilient grid,” he explained. Nowhere in the memo did Perry list wind, solar, or energy storage as options for grid reliability.
Rick Perry is from Texas. Texas now produces more than 20,000 MW of electricity from wind, making the state the largest producer of wind energy in the nation. Over 12 percent of power in the Lone Star State comes from the abundant breeziness that’s all too familiar to anyone who has spent time in the western part of the state. Wind power in Texas was boosted because the state senate passed a renewable energy standard in 1999 that was actually signed by George W. Bush. In fact, the blog Knowledge Problem reports that wind power in West Texas grew so quickly that transmission capacity has been the real limiting factor and price of energy in the area has been so low that consumers were actually paid to use power.

Who was governor of Texas when consumers were getting power for less than free? That would be James Richard “Rick” Perry. But now Perry is not only carefully leaving wind out of his memos, he’s sliding in hints that he has an ax ready for windmills.

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Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network

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