“The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station, located near Omaha, Nebraska, shut down on Monday, October 24, after the Omaha Public Power District voted in June to retire the plant, citing economic reasons as the main cause. With a capacity of 478 megawatts (MW), Fort Calhoun was the smallest active nuclear power plant in the United States at the time of its retirement. Following the retirement of Fort Calhoun, the United States has 99 commercially operating reactors at 62 nuclear power plants.”
“An evaluation of a variety of efficient water heating strategies for an all-electric single family home located in a mixed-humid climate is conducted using numerical modeling. The strategies considered include various combinations of solar thermal, heat pump, and electric resistance water heaters. The numerical model used in the study is first validated against a year of field data obtained on a dual-tank system with a solar thermal preheat tank feeding a heat pump water heater that serves as a backup.”
“Americans overestimate the contribution of renewable energy in powering the U.S. and underestimate the role of coal, oil and natural gas now and in the future. In 2016, solar and wind together made up just 3% of U.S. energy consumption, while survey respondents put the figure at 20%. Furthermore, respondents predict that wind and solar will make up 34% of energy consumption in five years; however, the experts predict that they will be less than 5% of our energy consumption. Conversely, respondents perceived fossil fuels to be a much lower percentage of the energy mix than they are today and projected them to be even less in five years.”
“The world is building more solar-power plants because they are getting cheaper. Since 2009, the total installed costs of solar have fallen by as much as 70 percent around the world. New power-purchase agreements frequently fall below $100 per megawatt-hour, with some reaching less than $30.4 That price puts solar at or below the cost of a new natural-gas plant.”
“The UK has largely been governed by EU legislation for the past 20 years. However, with the vote in June to leave the EU, the UK could now have the freedom to vary its energy policy while the EU has to also consider its own path foward – in particular, whether the UK can remain a part of the EU Integrated Energy Market (IEM). In such a period of uncertainty, it will be critical for energy stakeholders to consider potential scenarios, re-evaluate their strategies and position themselves for success.”
“One of the main goals for the ProHOME project was to design a net-zero-ready home, meaning that all of the home’s annual energy use could be offset with on-site energy generation. In our case, the energy would be generated with photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof.”
Another great article from FineHomeBuilding.com
“In the future, when investors look back at the year that represented the turning point for clean energy, 2016 may be it. The industry overall is growing at a breath-taking pace, but perhaps not for the reason that some investors think. Energy storage rather than solar power and wind power are the real factors that are driving a revolution across the electrical power industry.”
“The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced a new Energy Materials Network (EMN) consortium, the Durable Module Materials (DuraMat) National Lab Consortium led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). DuraMat reportedly is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of new high-performance materials for photovoltaic (PV) modules to lower the cost of electricity generated by solar power while increasing field lifetime.”
“Incorporating Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) can optimize your energy strategy for cost efficiency, reliability, security, and reducing your organizations environmental impact – but the benefits can vary significantly. Learn how to assess the benefits of DERs with five key considerations. Download this guide to help you consider whether DERs are right for your organization, when to make the investment, and how to make a strong business case for DERs.”
Although it’s clear enough that energy transition is necessary and reasonable, and although we know that transition is mainly happening on the grid at first, there is still much uncertainty about exactly where on the grid different strategies can be tried, how much they can accomplish, and what they’ll cost, relative to the alternatives….not to mention how the rest of the grid will respond as different measures—like storage, demand response, rooftop solar, controlled dispatch, and so on—are implemented. What’s needed to answer all these difficult questions? Better models, including serious math, by serious researchers.
Fortunately, one of those researchers is willing and able to explain several years of her work in grid modeling at NREL and elsewhere. So tune in and put on your thinking caps, because this episode (Geek Rating 10!) is not for the faint of heart.
Geek rating: 10
Guest: Marissa Hummon is a senior energy scientist with Tendril, a provider of customer-facing software to the energy industry, based in Boulder, Colorado. Previously, she spent five years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the Energy Analysis group. She earned her BA in Physics from Colorado College and her PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University. Marissa started her career in grid integration of renewables by looking at some of the core problems with modeling the intermittency and variability of renewable technologies. Before joining Tendril she worked on quantifying the value of demand response and storage technologies in wholesale electricity markets. At Tendril she is leading the development of a residential demand response product that balances the home owner’s comfort and the utilities’ production costs.
On Twitter: @Tendril
On the Web: LinkedIn Profile for Marissa Hummon
Recording date: September 13, 2016
Air date: October 5, 2016