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With declining technology costs and increasing renewable deployment, energy storage is poised to be a valuable resource on future power grids — but what is the total market potential for storage technologies, and what are the key drivers of cost-optimal deployment?

In the latest report from the Storage Futures Study (SFS), Economic Potential of Diurnal Storage in the U.S. Power Sector, NREL analysts Will Frazier, Wesley Cole, Paul Denholm, Scott Machen, and Nate Blair, describe significant market potential for utility-scale diurnal storage (up to 12 hours) in the U.S. power system through 2050. They found storage adds the most value to the grid and deployment increases when the power system allows storage to simultaneously provide multiple grid services and when there is greater solar photovoltaic (PV) penetration.

“We find significant market potential for diurnal energy storage across a variety of modeled scenarios, mostly occurring by 2030,” said Will Frazier, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) analyst and lead author of the report. “To realize cost-optimal storage deployment, the power system will need to allow storage to provide capacity and energy time-shifting grid services.”

The SFS — led by NREL and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Storage Grand Challenge — is a multiyear research project to explore how advancing energy storage technologies could impact the deployment of utility-scale storage and adoption of distributed storage, including impacts to future power system infrastructure investment and operations.

Expanded Capabilities to Model Storage Potential

For this work, researchers added new capabilities to NREL’s Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) capacity expansion model to accurately represent the value of diurnal battery energy storage when it is allowed to provide grid services — an inherently complex modeling challenge. Cost and performance metrics focus on Li-ion batteries because the technology has more market maturity than other emerging technologies. Because the value of storage depends greatly on timing, ReEDS simulated system operations every hour.

NREL researchers used ReEDS to model two sets of scenarios — one that allows storage to provide multiple grid services and one that restricts the services that storage can provide. All the scenarios use different cost and performance assumptions for storage, wind, solar PV, and natural gas to determine the key drivers of energy storage deployment.

Installed Storage Capacity Could Increase Five-Fold by 2050

Across all scenarios in the study, utility-scale diurnal energy storage deployment grows significantly through 2050, totaling over 125 gigawatts of installed capacity in the modest cost and performance assumptions — a more than five-fold increase from today’s total. Depending on cost and other variables, deployment could total as much as 680 gigawatts by 2050.

Chart courtesy of NREL — grid-scale U.S. storage capacity could grow five-fold by 2050.

Chart courtesy of NREL — grid-scale U.S. storage capacity could grow five-fold by 2050.

“These are game-changing numbers,” Frazier said. “Today we have 23 gigawatts of storage capacity, all of which is pumped-hydro.”

Initially, the new storage deployment is mostly shorter duration (up to 4 hours) and then progresses to longer durations (up to 12 hours) as deployment increases, mostly because longer-duration storage is currently more expensive. In 2030, annual deployment of battery storage ranges from 1 to 30 gigawatts across the scenarios. By 2050, annual deployment ranges from 7 to 77 gigawatts.

System Flexibility Key to Storage Deployment

To understand what could drive future grid-scale storage deployment, NREL modeled the techno-economic potential of storage when it is allowed to independently provide three grid services: capacity, energy time-shifting, and operating reserves.

  • Blue — Energy Time-Shifting & Operating Reserves (No Firm Capacity From Storage)
  • Black — Firm Capacity & Energy Time-Shifting (No Operating Reserves From Storage)
  • Green — Firm Capacity & Operating Reserves (No Energy Time-Shifting From Storage)

NREL found not allowing storage to provide firm capacity impacts future deployment the most, although not allowing firm capacity or energy time-shifting services can also substantially decrease potential deployment. Operating reserves, on the hand, do not drive the deployment of storage within the study because they find limited overall market potential for this service.

Storage and Solar Symbiosis

Multiple NREL studies have pointed to the symbiotic nature of solar and storage, and this study reinforces that relationship. More PV generation makes peak demand periods shorter and decreases how much energy capacity is needed from storage — thereby increasing the value of storage capacity and effectively decreasing the cost of storage by allowing shorter-duration batteries to be a competitive source of peaking capacity. NREL found over time the value of energy storage in providing peaking capacity increases as load grows and existing generators retire.

Solar PV generation also has a strong relationship with time-shifting services. More PV generation creates more volatile energy price profiles, increasing the potential of storage energy time-shifting. Like peaking capacity, the value of energy time-shifting grows over time with increased PV penetration.

Next Up in the Storage Futures Study

The SFS will continue to explore topics from the foundational report that outlines a visionary framework for the possible evolution of the stationary energy storage industry — and the power system as a whole.

The next report in the series will assess customer adoption potential of distributed diurnal storage for several future scenarios. The study will also include the larger impacts of storage deployment on power system evolution and operations.

Visit the Storage Futures Study page for more information about the broader study, and learn more about NREL’s energy analysis research.

Learn More in June 22 Webinar

Join a webinar from 9 to 10 a.m. MT on Tuesday, June 22, to learn more about SFS results with Will Frazier and Nate Blair and hear from SFS analyst Paul Denholm on the visionary framework for the possible evolution of the stationary energy storage industry, outlined in the first report in the series. Register to attend.

Article courtesy of NREL, the U.S. Department of Energy.

Image courtesy of 8minute Solar Energy, plus Energy storage project.


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The US just made a big decision about Chinese solar – here’s what it means

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The US just made a big decision about Chinese solar – here's what it means

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has determined that four out of eight Chinese solar companies that it’s been investigating are “attempting to bypass US duties by doing minor processing in one of the Southeast Asian countries before shipping to the United States.” Here’s what it means for the US solar industry.

The DOC found that the four Chinese companies that attempted to circumvent US duties by processing in Southeast Asia are:

  • BYD Hong Kong, in Cambodia
  • Canadian Solar, in Thailand
  • Trina, in Thailand
  • Vina Solar, in Vietnam

The DOC findings are preliminary, and the agency will conduct in-person audits in the coming months. The DOC also noted that a ban is not going to be implemented on products from Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam:

Companies in these countries will be permitted to certify that they are not circumventing the [antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders], in which case the circumvention findings will not apply. 

The DOC also notes:

Further, some companies in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam did not respond to Commerce’s request for information in this investigation, and consistent with longstanding practice, will be found to be circumventing.

As Electrek reported in mid-May, the DOC launched an investigation of whether Southeast Asian solar cell manufacturers are using parts made in China that would normally be subject to a tariff.

That investigation destabilized the US solar industry, which relies on solar module imports to meet growing demand. The majority of the US solar industry then asserted that the DOC investigation would harm the US solar industry and wanted the investigation dismissed.

On June 6, President Joe Biden waived tariffs for 24 months on solar panels made in Southeast Asia in response to the investigation. He also invoked the Defense Production Act to spur on US solar panel and other clean energy manufacturing. That way, domestic production could be sped up without interfering in the DOC investigation.

The DOC today asserted that Biden’s presidential proclamation provides US solar importers with “sufficient time to adjust supply chains and ensure that sourcing isn’t occurring from companies found to be violating US law.”

But Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), didn’t see it that way. She said in a statement:

The only good news here is that Commerce didn’t target all imports from the subject countries. Nonetheless, this decision will strand billions of dollars’ worth of American clean energy investments and result in the significant loss of good-paying, American, clean energy jobs. While President Biden was wise to provide a two-year window before the tariff implementation, that window is quickly closing, and two years is simply not enough time to establish manufacturing supply chains that will meet US solar demand.

This is a mistake we will have to deal with for the next several years.

George Hershman, CEO of SOLV Energy, the US’s largest utility-scale solar installer, also wasn’t pleased about the DOC’s announcement. He said in an emailed statement:

After years of supply chain challenges and trade disruptions, I remain concerned that the Commerce Department chose a path that could jeopardize the solar industry’s ability to hire more workers and construct the clean energy projects needed to meet our country’s climate goals.

The upside is that Commerce took a nuanced approach to exempt a number of manufacturers rather than issuing a blanket ban of all products from the targeted countries. While it’s positive that companies will be able to access some of the crucial materials we need to deploy clean energy, it’s still true that this ruling will further constrict a challenged supply chain and undercut our ability to fulfill the promise of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Photo: Tom Fisk on Pexels.com


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Hyundai showcases ‘sustainable high performance’ EV tech in IONIQ5 N teaser video

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Hyundai showcases 'sustainable high performance' EV tech in IONIQ5 N teaser video

Hyundai checked all the boxes with its award-winning IONIQ5, its first dedicated electric vehicle. The bold, futuristic-looking EV has earned high praise thus far with long-range capabilities, advanced features, and a smooth ride.

However, after teasing the IONIQ5 N in a new video, Hyundai has confirmed its race-inspired N-line will enter the new era of electric vehicles. Giving a new meaning to sustainable high performance.

What is sustainable high performance? In the simplest form, it’s high-performance electric vehicles that produce zero emissions.

However, Hyundai is spinning that by developing zero-emission EVs that can achieve high performance for prolonged periods (sustainable).

Hyundai’s N-line was born in 2012 by a hand-picked team of “elite research” staff members. The company’s high-performance line began attracting several higher-ups from BMW and Mercedes-Benz AMG.

The Hyundai N-line represents “three N DNA pillars,” including:

  1. Corner Rascal: driving enthusiasts must be able to handle corners, hence the “N.”
  2. Race Track Capability: Hyundai’s N-line vehicles must be “performance ready” at all times.
  3. Everyday Sports Car: N models are built not only to crush the racetrack but also for everyday driving situations.

The South Korean automaker will build upon these principles as it transitions to an electric future, giving us a glimpse into what that could look like with the Hyundai IONIQ5 N.

Hyundai IONIQ5 N is the future of sustainable high performance

The new video reveals how Hyundai is using its rolling lab, or what the company calls its “playground,” to bridge its motorsports DNA directly into its N-line models.

Hyundai-IONIQ5-N
Hyundai RN22e Source: Hyundai

Hyundai began the RN22e project with a mission of setting a new stand in electrified high performance. The RN22e (which looks like an aggressive IONIQ6) is based on Hyundai’s E-GMP, which the IONIQ5 and IONIQ6 ride on, but includes several new features allowing it to live up to the “N” name.

One of Hyundai’s newest technologies is called the “E-TVTC,” which is:

A faster reacting torque vectoring technology that matches the instant torque of an EV, fending off the understeer.

Hyundai’s RN22e is the first four-wheel drive rolling lab. Dual motors sit at the front and rear axles, allowing precise power distribution.

To control battery heat (which can reduce performance), Hyundai is focusing on finding the perfect balance between aerodynamic efficiency and cooling. And for high-performance fans that like the “thrust” and sounds an EV does not typically feature, Hyundai is adding N Sound and N e-shift.

The automaker says it’s ready for the era of electrification with the IONIQ5 N, which will likely share the technology. Hyundai gives us a sneak peek into what the IONIQ5 N will look like, wrapped in camouflage at the very end alongside the RN22e and N Vision 74 (a hydrogen hybrid vehicle).

Although Hyundai doesn’t release specific powertrain specs, it’s likely to match the new Kia EV GT, with 577 hp and 0 to 62 in 3.5 seconds. You can watch the full video here.

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This county is the first on the US East Coast to ban natural gas

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This county is the first on the US East Coast to ban natural gas

Montgomery County, Maryland, will be the US East Coast’s first county to ban natural gas in new buildings.

Montgomery County will require all new construction to only use electric energy equipment. Montgomery County, which is just north of Washington, DC, has a population of just over 1 million, so this is an impactful decision for the region.

That means specifically that all new buildings in the county will need to go electric for heating, hot water heating, and cooking from the end of 2026. However, income-restricted housing and schools will have until the end of 2027.

The Montgomery County Council backed the gas limits with a 9-0 vote, and the county executive is expected to sign off on Bill 13-22, “Comprehensive Building Decarbonization.”

About half of the county’s emissions come from buildings, so environmental groups welcomed the decision. Mike Tidwell, director of climate change public policy advocate group CCAN Action Fund, said about Bill 13-22 on November 17:

Our safety and health will benefit from a move to all-electric buildings, and we will be doing our part to address climate change.

Unsurprisingly, the natural gas industry isn’t as enthusiastic. E&E News reports:

Representatives from Washington Gas Light Co., which distributes gas to over a million customers in Montgomery County and the Washington area, said the ban focused on electrification “while dismissing other proven opportunities for decarbonization,” like mixing hydrogen into the natural gas system.

“We urge the Council to consider a more holistic approach to decarbonization, one that puts affordability, reliability, resiliency, and security at the forefront,” wrote the company in a July 26 filing to the County Council.

Electrification brings higher upfront costs to developers but lower operating costs in the long run.

Only two West Coast states, California and Washington, have banned the sale of all new natural gas-fired heaters and water heaters by 2030.

To date, no East Coast state has passed a natural gas ban. Massachusetts has a program that allows up to 10 cities to enact a natural gas ban, and New York State is considering one.

Read more: The largest electric school bus fleet in the US just launched in Maryland

Photo: Pixabay on Pexels.com


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