100% Renewable Energy: Fact or Fantasy?

Date: 28 Aug 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

What would it take to power the entire U.S. economy on renewable resources alone? Three big things: Only build wind, solar, or hydro power plants after 2020 Reduce energy use compared to business as usual by 40% Electrify everything It’s … Read More

Watch: A Clean Contract / Feed-In Tariff 101

Date: 15 Jan 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A 5-minute video explaining CLEAN Contracts (a.k.a. feed-in tariffs) in simple terms.  It’d be great if it used a name for the policy that’s in common circulation, but since I was guilty of using Renewable Energy Payments, too, I shouldn’t … Read More

New Small Hydro Could Add Significantly to State Renewable Power

Date: 15 Aug 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Over at Climate Progress, Stephen Lacey recently asked why there isn’t more development of micro hydro in the U.S., given its potential to provide more than 30,000 low-cost megawatts of power to U.S. states (and bipartisan political support).

We can’t answer that question any better than Stephen, but we can provide a good illustration of that potential, replicating a map from our 2010 report Energy Self-Reliant States (click here for a larger version):

New Micro Hydro Power Potential (Percent of State Electricity Sales)

 

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Pumped Hydro Storage Still Cheaper Than Batteries

Date: 19 Oct 2010 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A nice, short comparison of the cost of electricity storage with pumped hydropower and batteries.

Using pumped hydro to store electricity costs less than $100 per kilowatt-hour and is highly efficient, Chu told his energy advisory board during a recent meeting. By contrast, he said, using sodium ion flow batteries — another option for storing large amounts of power — would cost $400 per kWh and have less than 1 percent of pumped hydro’s capacity.

Of course, you need to have a river with a likely reservoir location to have any significant quantity of pumped storage, making the article’s reference to Texas a bit ironic.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, here’s a nice diagram of pumped storage from Consumers Energy:

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