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SG - that's the key point - they can only get the required cost for battery storage down to the incredibly low levels that they are claiming that they can achieve for their spin-off company (ahhh yes they neglected to mention that perhaps) if they require that the PV + wind penetration is as high as 100%.
It is next to impossible to conceive of a complete energy system in which full decarbonisation can happen without the generation of some green fuels such as green (i.e. generated from excess renewable electricity) hydrogen, methanol or ammonia - this is because the further from the temperate regions you are the more of a seasonal storage requirement you have - the only way to deal with this is to generate and store green fuels for heating, and maybe electrical, use in the cold season. This might be achieved through excess generation in the summer, or, I think more likely, generation in the hot regions of the globe, followed by transportation. Much like transporting oil right now, except the stuff will not have come out of the ground, but instead out of the sky, as water, Nitrogen and CO2.
These round trip efficiency of these fuels is significantly lower than for batteries, which will always have a place for daily and weekly peak shifting, but fuel will need to be stockpiled for interseasonal balancing. You can kind of think of the green fuel system as like a mega battery that you charge and discharge only once a year.
But those figures are only for scenarios in which solar and wind meet power demand 100 percent of the time. If other sources meet demand just 5 percent of the time, storage could work at a price tag of $150/kWh. Which technologies could hit that target?
Lithium-ion batteries are within reach of the $150/kWh target, and their share in the utility-scale energy storage is growing. Yet they face materials scarcity challenges exacerbated by a rising electric car market. But, says Chiang, the technology is “unlikely to meet the cost requirements for long-duration storage, so for deep decarbonization, there is a critical need to develop low-cost, long duration storage technologies.”
Pumped hydro and compressed air, which use extra power to pump water uphill or to pressurize air, both of which can be used to turn a turbine and generate electricity when needed, already have a low energy cost of $20/kWh, the researchers say. But these systems need a large amount of space and special geological features such as mountains or underground caverns, so cannot be used everywhere.
Another viable technology is flow batteries that would use abundant, low-cost chemicals to store energy in large tanks. But not all flow battery chemistries are inexpensive. One of the main types, vanadium redox flow batteries, have an estimated cost of $100/kWh, the researchers say, but more development could bring down costs.
Chiang is betting on sulfur batteries. He has recently developed an aqueous sulfur flow battery that could cost as little as $10/kWh. The technology has what it takes for long-duration, low-cost storage, and is now being developed by Form Energy, a company he co-founded in 2017 and that has recently gotten extensive financial backing.
There are other battery technologies to keep an eye on. High-temperature sodium-sulfur batteries cost $500/kWh, but with more development, their costs could fall by up to 75 percent by 2030, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Meanwhile, the cost of sodium nickel chloride batteries could fall from $315 to $490/kWh at present to $130 to $200/kWh by 2030.
There are many other ways to store renewable energy that the researchers didn’t consider, such as with flywheels, supercapacitors, thermal storage in molten salts, and using excess electricity to liquefy air or to make fuels such as hydrogen and methane.
The Eland project and others announced recently show that renewables combined with storage are already starting to make economic sense. Advancing energy storage technologies and economies of scale should help drive down costs further and allow renewables to meet their full potential.
“The key is to develop storage technologies that can reach those low capital costs [of $20/kWh],” Chiang says. “I believe this kind of storage can be demonstrated at a pilot scale within the next five years.”
Last week, the city of Los Angeles inked a deal for a solar-plus-storage system at a record-low price. The 400-MW Eland solar power project will be capable of storing 1,200 megawatt-hours of energy in lithium-ion batteries to meet demand at night. The project is a part of the city's climate commitment to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
Electricity and heat production are the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Carbon-free electricity will be critical for keeping the average global temperature rise to within the United Nations’ target of 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst effects of climate change. As world leaders meet at the United Nations Climate Action Summit next week, boosting renewable energy and energy storage will be major priorities.
Wind and solar skeptics are quick to point out that such systems are expensive and can’t keep the lights on 24/7. The first argument is wilting as renewables become cost-competitive with fossil fuels. The second one also boils down to cost: that of energy storage, which will be essential for sending large amounts of renewable energy to the grid when needed.
Low-cost storage is the key to enabling renewable electricity to compete with fossil fuel generated electricity on a cost basis,” says Yet-Ming Chiang, a materials science and engineering professor at MIT.
But exactly how low? Chiang, professor of energy studies Jessika Trancik, and others have determined that energy storage would have to cost roughly US $20 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the grid to be 100 percent powered by a wind-solar mix. Their analysis is published in Joule.
That’s an intimidating stretch for lithium-ion batteries, which dipped to $175/kWh in 2018. But things look up if you loosen the constraints on renewable energy, the researchers say. Then, storage technologies that meet the cost target are within reach.
The team picked four locations—Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Texas—and gathered 20 years of data on those solar and wind resources there. Such resources can change considerably with the seasons and over the years, and their longer-term analysis—while previous studies had used data from just a year or two—captures the variations that may occur over the lifetime of a power plant, the researchers say. They modeled the costs of wind-solar-plus-storage systems that would reliably meet various grid demands, such as providing baseload energy 24/7 and meeting peak-hour spikes in demand for a few hours.
Energy storage would have to cost $10 to $20/kWh for a wind-solar mix with storage to be competitive with a nuclear power plant providing baseload electricity. And competing with a natural gas peaker plant would require energy storage costs to fall to $5/kWh.
Razor I wrote back to The Fool again this evening pointing out further in accuracies and giving so rather concerning problems which are far more relevant about large scale Lithium batteries which they should consider. I also sent the The Fool the article on The Saudis massive investment in VRFB announced today. Just to give so me scale to the market. Hopefully they will do further research and there may be some more reasons soon highlighted why this technology will disrupt the energy storage market and Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries are the future of stationary storage. Watch this space.
PS - Oh definitely a BUY!
Sorry, two articles! Sorry for the typo!! Fat fingers...
Well done for correcting the Motley Fool articles RichKen !
It is interesting that The Motley Fool have actually written tow articles about Bushveld Minerals in the last 48 hours
The above one was not very accurate and poorly written! I spent some time and wrote to them correcting the errors and pointing out some important factors which have influenced and will influence the future. You can see how I rewrote this further back on this thread!
Certainly a better read and a better-constructed article. We should be pleased to see these articles as they will open new investors via the Apple Share App as well as Yahoo Finance who use these articles in there investor news feeds.
The simple fact that VRFB technology is going to be more and more in the news in future will mean people will want to know how to invest in this technology and its supply chain and we are at the pinnacle of both in what we offer.
Bushveld Minerals are closer to having there first Minigrid using a solar array with energy storage installed at Vametco from a recent tender document for this project :
"South Africa is currently facing power supply shortages, this is evident through the power cut or load shedding that has been occurring nationally. South Africa has, in the past, depended on non- renewable energy, mainly the burning of fossil fuel (coal) as a means of energy supply. Due to these power supply challenges; South Africa has shifted its focus on the need to explore other means of power supply such as the Independent Power Producer (IPP). The IPP projects makes use of renewable energy as a means of energy production and supply. This proposed study project is a pilot project for combining PV solar with battery storage (Vanadium Redox Flow in this case), a new technology that has been successfully implemented in the United States of America at the Maharishi University. This pilot project at Vametco will assess the economic and technological feasibility of such a project within the South African context."
Bushveld will demonstrate the importance and capability to SA through this key project and it will benefit the plant!
A spot more reading from Bloomberg today:
$11 Billion Green-Energy Initiative Takes Shape in South Africa
50% difference surely
Would I be wrong in thinking or does it just feel like, this is the first Monday in ages we haven't closed down. I missed the opportunity to buy into atm this morning so I will be taking a few more here in the morning.
Thanks all genuine posters in
Thinks feel like they are coming to a head with regards to Eskom and any potential solution. The tender mentioned ended on 3rd Sept and the winners will be required to start within a week of being appointed. Then there is the new irp policy (maybe) being approved and mention below of 'President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to release a policy paper on Eskom later this month'
State-owned power utility Eskom, which has about R430bn of debt, sought advisers on how to implement a government bailout seven months after President Cyril Ramaphosa said the company would be reorganised.
Eskom issued an invitation to tender for “financial services for implementation for government support package” on Aug. 23, according to a document seen by Bloomberg. The tender, which closed on Sept. 3, requires that the team provide its record in “providing holistic solutions to restore the viability of companies in financial distress for transaction values in excess of $1bn.”
Eskom, which supplies about 95% of South Africa’s power, has been granted R128bn ($8.7bn) in state bailouts over the next three years to remain solvent. The government has proposed splitting the utility into generation, transmission and distribution units and is evaluating a range of options to reduce the costs of the debt and improve its performance.
The company must be able to mobilize a team to start the work within a week of the award of the contract, according to the document. Bidders must also provide relevant experience advising in South Africa and internationally on debt management transactions, sovereign debt exchanges and liquidity management exercises for transactions over $1bn, it said.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to release a policy paper on Eskom later this month. Eskom didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the tender document, the advisers will:
Assist the government in assessing the various options for the debt
Assess the impact of the options on government finances
Assess the impact of doing nothing and of a possible Eskom default
Assist with the communication of any recovery plan to all “stakeholders”
Hmmm, where have I heard that word before...
"The week could see the cabinet taking ground-breaking decisions on the consolidation of the three state-owned airlines — SAA, SA Express and Mango — as well as the restructuring of flailing electricity utility Eskom."
"This will be the last cabinet meeting in September — they are held every two weeks — and indications have been that these crucial matters would be before the cabinet this month. Also imminent is cabinet approval for the revised Integrated Resource Plan."
Make that £40 :-)
dubmaskullanga - well the RNLI are another £20 better off as a result of that outrageous story by the Daily Mail. What has this country become ?
Someone must have spiked all the journos coffee today................. #RNLI_disgrace
Well it's not cast in stone yet but it does seem that BMN have got Cellcube to quote.
I was not aware that the Vametco minigrid will be using Cellcube batteries (VRFB).
I own a few CUBE shares and would really appreciate further info.
Thanks and GL
Actually when you factor in all the racking and air-conditioning systems that utility Scale Lithium-ion systems require you discover that you can get approximately 1.5 MWh into a 40 foot shipping container. In comparison you can get approximately 1 MWh of VRFB battery storage into a single 40 foot shipping container. Thus a 33% difference between the two, i.e. not a whole lot.
Furthermore you cannot stack Lithium ion loaded shipping containers, but you can stack the VRFB containers, as you can see here in the Cellcube VRFBs that will be used for the Vametco minigrid:- https://www.cellcube.com/
Vanadium is toxic it says. As opposed to what, Lithium-Ion batteries which are toxic and highly flammable/explosive? What point were they trying to make? Amateur hour going on over here
You forgot buy.
Have these places all got work experience kids in doing their writing?
"Vanadium is toxic".................. just that, cast in, all on its own...............
Vanadium in the form used in VRFB's is not 'toxic', Vanadium pentoxide dust is an irritant.
Massive hold for me, in-fact I've bought lots more and still buying.
As in: This is the book what I wrote?