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Electrek morning green energy brief: Solar forecasting improves, Hawaii requests wind projects, lithium mining growing and more!


Utility Scale solar forecasting tool from government labs – One challenge of managing intermittent energy sources is that our electricity grid (and all of our stuff) is designed to enjoy peaceful, consistent amounts of voltage and current. Sunlight intensity and clouds vary. Software being deployed here can give the utility managers a 72-hour solar production estimations and 15-minute values to integrate into the modern energy trading markets. The sun going down is not the problem – the problem is that our hardware was built on different technology.

Hawaii looking for ‘shovel ready projects’ from onshore wind developers on Oahu – After wowing the world with a prediction of 100% renewables before 2040 (or even 2030), HECO has put out an RFP looking shovel ready projects (shovel ready means the land is secured via contract, the engineering is complete, local permits and zoning and environmental analysis complete, and finance lined up). The reason for the aggressive chase is that at the end of 2019 there the federal incentives for wind end (solar just begins it tapering off that year). Expect 2019 to be a YUGE year for solar and wind development.

Lithium volume getting going – Our electrons will be stored in one of the simplest materials in the universe. Very fitting.

Zinc mine building a 100MW solar power plant for itself – Desert electricity is expensive. Daytime use is when the peak occurs. This is an economic decision – the clean energy aspect is for later at the bar. $155M for 100MW at US$0.10-15/kWh means a payback period of 5-6 years.

World’s largest hydrogen electrolysis facility commissioned – If your facility can make liquid fuel specifically when renewable energy has made grid prices of electricity reallly cheap, taking specific benefit from that cheap electricity – then you might have a winning product. There is still the question of whether hydrogen’s efficiency relative to batteries – but the argument of using it to store and transport energy is still hanging around.

US Gas prices up $0.12/gallon over last weekBorder protests in Mexico due to a 20% increase in gasoline are still going on, OPEC is getting a hold of itself and Obama is leaving office. Price of gasoline could hold onto these higher prices – I don’t expect oil them to go much further than $60-70/barrel due to US productivity – and maybe a bit more if it actually hits those higher guesstimates I made. This matters because it affects the purchase habits of car buyers – utility of the vehicle matters just as much, of course

Just saying…


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