Solar power and wind power continue to dominate new power capacity additions in the United States. Following the trend of recent months — or years, to some extent — almost 100% of new power capacity additions in April came from solar and wind, and 94% of new power capacity additions in May came from solar and wind. (Note that these figures exclude rooftop solar power, so the numbers would be even higher if that was added in.) Here are the charts:
(Yes, 1 measly megawatt of extra oil power production capacity blocked a 100% figure in April.)
If you look at the first 4 or 5 months of the year, the story is similar. There’s a bit of new natural gas power capacity, but solar and wind power dominate. Renewables accounted for 94.4% of all new US power capacity in January–May 2021. That is up considerably from the 51.1% of the same period in 2020 and the 41.7% of the same period in 2019.
With all of that great news regarding new power capacity additions, it’s easy to get a little excited. Unfortunately, the problem is that it takes a long time to update and transition the power grid. At the end of May, this is how the total installed base of large power plants in the US broke out:
Wind and solar combined still haven’t caught up to coal. Even wind and hydropower combined haven’t. And natural gas is in a league of its own and won’t be caught for many years.
The next two charts cover trends in total power capacity over the past 3 years. Renewables as a whole, led by solar and wind, are rising strongly while coal has been dropping a step or two each year. Still, though, look at how much further natural gas, coal, and oil need to drop.
While solar power continues to grow fast in the United States, the expanding market and constantly evolving technologies raise questions about where, when, and how it’s most effective to invest in further solar power growth. Where do you get the most bang for your buck? What technology combos are the best these days in different regions? And how do you maximize the output of a project after it’s already been installed?
For anyone looking to maximize output from a solar power project already in the ground, looking to manage a fast-growing portfolio of solar projects, or simply trying to figure out how best to attract customers in a hyper-competitive world, I think you could find out coming webinar on these topics and more to be truly helpful. You can register for the webinar here if this sounds up your alley (it’s free).
Would you rather have one $50k EV or 50 of these $1k Chinese electric cars
Panning for gold in Alibaba’s electric vehicle catalog is bound to find some real doozies, such as this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week. Meet this fun little purple three-wheeled electric car that barely manages to fulfill the requirements of a car.
The “Minitype 3 Seater Passenger Electric Passenger Tricycle” is quite a mouthful of a name, but what’s really important here are the specs.
With a single driver’s seat up front and a narrow bench in back, there is theoretically space for three souls aboard this thing. There’s no steering wheel up front, though. Instead, drivers operate the handlebar that controls the front wheel through a fork instead of traditional automotive linkage to two wheels. Think of it like an enclosed tuk-tuk.
That’s probably fine based on the rather low performance of the machine, reaching just 40 km/h (25 mph) and likely taking its sweet time to do so.
It may not seem spacious, but this is one of those “the seats go aaaalllllllllll the way back” kind of cars. Or at least, the one seat.
I’m not sure what kind of freedom or bonus points that buys you, unless your date is super into trikes. But let’s just say that the car is doing everything it can to be a good wingman for you.
If you can’t pick up chicks in this babe magnet, then you’re obviously doing something wrong.
The coolest part about this thing though is the price. Sure, if you try to buy just a single car then it’s a bit expensive at US $1,200. But if you’ll take 15 units then you can knock that price down to $1,100. An order of up to 49 gets you down to an even $1,000.
So which would you rather have? One $50k electric car or 50 $1k electric cars? Well let me answer that for myself with another question. How easy is it to start a Chinese EV racing league in your backyard track with just one $50k EV?
Ok, jokes aside, please don’t anyone try to actually order one of these. This glorified mobility scooter is likely sans batteries for that price, plus you’ll absolutely spend several times the supposed purchase price just to try and get it shipped out of China.
Then there’s the wrinkle of these not being street-legal anywhere outside of China, and potentially not even there.
So let’s just enjoy them from the safe distance of our computer screens, shall we? In the meantime, I’ll appreciate even more the electric mini-truck I actually DID buy from China.
GE scraps plans to make giant 18 MW offshore wind turbines
GE Vernova is abandoning plans to supersize its offshore wind turbines and will instead focus on rolling out smaller “workhorse” turbines.
In March of last year, GE Vernova CEO Scott Strazik said during a GE Investor Conference that the market was receptive to larger variants of the company’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbines: “Now we are getting a very positive reception from the market with our 17 to 18 MW Haliade-X variant off of what we’re shipping this year.”
However, GE Vernova has decided to shelve that idea for the future. Parent company GE writes in its US Securities and Exchange Commission EX-99 that its Haliade-X platform has included “offerings available from 12 MW to 18 MW with estimated capacity factors ranging from 60% to 64%.” It continued:
One Haliade-X 13 MW turbine can power the equivalent of up to 16,000 European homes.
…We believe the future of our offshore wind business will be the Haliade-X 15.5 MW-250, a workhorse product.
The company made project losses in its offshore wind business last year. It expects margins to remain challenged in 2024 as it executes its Haliade-X backlog, “which will require significant cash use and working capital.” However, GE anticipates working capital dynamics and margins to improve beyond 2024.
The 800 MW Vineyard Wind I project off the Massachusetts coast consists of GE’s 13 MW Haliade-X turbines.
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Jeep’s first EV will land in the US as early as July, electric Wrangler-like Recon to follow
The first all-electric Jeep could be delivered to US customers as soon as July. According to new CEO Antonio Filosa, production of Jeep’s first EV, the Wagoneer S SUV, is expected to begin in Q2. Deliveries could happen as soon as the third quarter. Jeep’s CEO also confirmed we may see the electric Wrangler-like Recon launch by the end of the year.
The first Jeep EV could reach US buyers as early as Q3
After slashing prices amid slumping sales Friday (including up to $4K on its best-selling Grand Cherokee), Filosa admitted more needs to be done to fend off incoming competition.
Jeep’s first EV in the US, the Wagoneer S SUV, is expected to enter production in the second quarter. Filosa said the first deliveries could happen as early as the third quarter. Ahead of its official launch, Jeep is hyping the electric SUV with new teasers.
You can see Jeep’s iconic design evolving as it shifts to electric. Jeep claims the Wagoneer S will be “lightning fast,” packing 600 hp for a 0 to 60 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds.
It will be the first EV based on parent company Stellantis’ new STLA Large platform. Jeep aims for around 400 miles range, rivaling Rivian’s R1S.
Jeep also showed the first glimpse of the EV’s interior, which has plenty of buttons and digital screens. You can see a custom driver control center with Jeep’s signature Selec-Terrain toggle.
It also includes a standard dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a premium 19-speaker McIntosh audio system.
Jeep’s electric Wrangler-like Recon launching soon
Filsosa confirmed Jeep’s electric Wrangler-like Recon could launch by the end of the year, although the timing is still unclear.
We’ve already seen a sneak peek of the Recon Moab 4xe after images leaked out of a dealer event in Las Vegas.
The Recon will be a “rugged and fully capable electric SUV” inspired by the off-road Jeep Wrangler. Previous head of Jeep North America, Jim Morrison, said the Recon EV “has the capability to cross the mighty Rubicon Trail.” Not only that, it will “reach the end of the trail with enough range to drive back to town and recharge,” Morrison claimed.
Filosa confirmed the Recon will also be based on the STLA Large platform, suggesting at least 600 hp is likely.
The platform serves between 85 and 118 kWh battery pack options with up to 500 mi (800 km) range for sedans. It will also come with 400V and 800V options.
Stellantis claims the platform includes “extreme power,” claiming it will “outperform any of the existing Hellcat V-8s.” More powerful models can sprint from 0 to 62 mph (0-100km/hr) in the 2-second range, according to Stellantis.
According to the new UAW agreements, an electric Jeep Wrangler is also expected to launch, but not until 2028. Jeep’s best-selling Grand Cherokee will also get an all-electric option around 2027.
Source: Detroit News
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