U.S. Energy Storage Surges 2017, World’s Largest Battery Is Being Built In Vanadium
– US energy storage increases 46% In 3rd quarter. Hawaii, California, Massachusetts aim to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2045.
– Global storage market to double six times by 2030 to a total of 305 GWh. China reportedly started construction of world’s biggest 800 MWh battery (equivalent of 16,000 Tesla model 3 batteries), and it’s made in vanadium
– Lithium batteries’ parasitic load factor and scalability may hamper future growth. Vanadium batteries could start dominating the utility energy storage sector in 2018 due to their proven reliability and longer battery life.
– With fierce competition amongst vanadium battery makers without clear winner, investing in vanadium mining company may be best way to participate in the rise of vanadium usage in batteries.
– The considerable upside of vanadium mining company valuation can be seen when compared with uranium mining company valuation.
US energy storage increases 46% in 3rd Quarter. Hawaii, California, Massachusetts aim to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2045.
The article “US Energy Storage Increases 46% in 3rd Quarter” by Joshua Hill, published on December 7, 2017, revealed latest US Energy Storage Monitorreport by GreenTechMedia (“GTM”) Research showed a total of 41.8 MW (megawatts) worth of new energy storage capacity was deployed in the third quarter of 2017, representing an increase of 46% year-over-year and 10% quarter-over-quarter.
Texas led the way in the utility-scale segment with its 30 MW project, followed by Massachusetts, California, and Hawaii. GTM Research also highlighted the increasing role that energy storage is having in utilities’ Integrated Resource Planning (IRP), with utilities across 14 states including nearly 2 GW (gigawatts) worth of storage into their IRP thinking.
Article “California To Meet 2030 Renewable Energy Targets By 2020” by Joshua Hill dated November 21, 2017 indicates California state’s major utilities have already met and should soon exceed the state’s 2020 renewable energy target of 33% and will likely meet the 2030 target of 50% by 2020.
California’s investor-owned utilities have already surpassed their interim targets and, according to the CPUC, “have sufficient resources under development to exceed the 33% by 2020 RPS requirement.”
Pacific Gas and Electric Company: 32.9%
Southern California Edison: 28.2%
San Diego Gas & Electric: 43.2%
According to the Forbes article “California Goes All In — 100% Renewable Energy by 2045” by Trevor Nace (August, 2017), an ambitious plan set forth by Senate President Kevin de León (D) would set in place a goal of producing within California’s electricity grid 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% renewable energy by 2045.
California has the largest GDP ($2.6 trillion) of any state in the United States—roughly 14% of the entire nation’s GDP. California’s GDP is larger than that of all but 5 nations. It greater than those of France and Brazil.
Similarly, a “Bill would Commit Massachusetts To 100 Percent Renewable Energy” (to quote the title of a September 19, 2017 article by Craig Lemoult). Actually, it’s two bills:
“Massachusetts would get 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035 under a plan heard by lawmakers Tuesday. The bills would also require the state to renewably power all of its heating and transportation by 2050. The bills (S. 1849, H. 3395) aim to move the state beyond its current clean energy commitment, which has focused primarily on electricity generation.”
Titled “Hawaii Utility’s 100% Renewable Energy Plan Got the Green Light,” in a GreenTechMedia article dated July 18, 2017 by Jeff John, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved (PDF) the utility’s Power Supply Improvement Plan (PSIP), a sprawling document that contains the recipe for hitting the state’s 100 percent renewables mandate by 2040, five years ahead of schedule.
According to the article by Jessica Else, “Clean energy puts Kauai, Hawaii” (November 12, 2017), more than 40 percent of electricity generated on Kauai comes from renewable resources. That’s up from 2009, when 5 percent of the island’s electricity came from renewable resources. Solar is a big contributor to power generation on the island, and on sunny days around 90 percent of daytime energy needs are met by solar, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative says.
According to Hawaiian Electric Companies, more than 17 energy storage projects for providing grid service or exploring this technology are either underway or planned. The goal is to support the use of more renewable energy and maintain reliable service for customers.
“Global Storage Market to Double Six Times by 2030,” rising to a total of 125 gigawatts/305 gigawatt-hours, according to an article published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (November 20, 2017).
305 gigawatt hours is equivalent in battery capacity to 6 million Tesla model 3 cars (each at 50kWh, according to Wikipedia). Currently there are approximately 2 million electric vehicles on the road. The article forecasts one-fourth of deployments to be in the U.S. and $103 billion to be invested in energy storage over the period
This is a similar trajectory to that of the remarkable expansion that the solar industry from 2000 to 2015, in which the share of photovoltaics as a percentage of total generation doubled seven times. Eight countries will lead the market, with 70 percent of capacity to be installed in the U.S., China, Japan, India, Germany, the U.K., Australia, and South Korea.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook data further reported that “Renewable energy sources are set to represent almost three quarters of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power generating technology until 2040, thanks to rapidly falling costs for solar and wind power, and a growing role for batteries, including electric vehicle batteries, in balancing supply and demand.”
Utility-scale battery systems are expected to fall from about $700 per kilowatt-hour in 2016 to less than $300 per kilowatt-hour in 2030.
Economic tipping points mean renewable energy will account for over half of electricity generation by the mid-2020s in the UK and Germany.
As early as 2030, “there will be whole weeks where wind and solar power generation exceed total demand at some point every day,” analysts state (in the actual energy report, available only by subscription). This will be a very difficult experience for base load nuclear and coal-fired power plants. But it will be an opportunity for flexible power technologies such as energy storage and gas generators, or demand response such as flexible electric-vehicle charging and variable industrial loads that can respond quickly to conditions on the grid.
Vanadium batteries appear to be China’s way of coping with surging renewable energy capacities, according to the electrek article by John Fitzgerald Weaver, “World’s largest battery: 200MW/800MWh Vanadium Flow Battery—Site Work Ongoing” (December 21, 2017).