Author Topic: Focus on Storage needed for Clean Energy  (Read 211 times)

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Offline BTS

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Focus on Storage needed for Clean Energy
« on: October 29, 2017, 10:27:47 AM »
I just ran some simple calculations for electricity generation. 

Gas Turbine $1000/kw installed, 9000 Btu/kwh 95% load factor  $4/MMBTU for fuel (US)
Photo Volt    $2000/kw installed, 25% load factor
Land Wind    $1600/kw installed, 25% load factor (minimum occurs usually in the month of August)
Battery Sto.    $500/kwh installed
Cost of Capital assumed 6% interest and 5 year payback (these are pretty reasonable for current industry investment hurdles)
CO2 Externallity cost   $20/tonne

So given all of this, Gas is about $85/kwh, photo and wind are $1,100/kwh.  The cost of Photo Voltaic or wind generatation is not an is the cost of storage.  Photo Voltaic is already roughly equivalent to Gas for installed capacity when you include fuel is the 25% load factor that is the problem.  In order to get the carbonless options competetive, the cost of storage has to fall to about $20/kwh, a factor of 25!  Pumped Hydro is only $200/kwh installed but we have limited numer of dams, new dams are unpopular and the prospects of cheap pumping technology are not good.

Nuclear in the US would come in somewhere near $160/kwh; because China's build cost is $2000/kw instead of the US $5,000/kw, new nuclear construction in China is competetive with US Gas! (Natural Gas is much more expensive in China due to supply).  I predict that China will have a lower CO2 intensity than the west in the future, not because they developed cheap Photo Voltaics, but because they embark on a massive nuclear power construction program.

How much of our clean energy research dollars are focused on storage vs cheaper generation?