Pramod Jain's blog

Electric Vehicles

Saw an interesting article on power specifications of electric vehicles.  For details see, http://www.windpowerengineering.com/featured/more-great-uses-for-wind-ge...

 

  1. BYD bus (from China) 40ft, 25 seater.  Two 90kW motors.  Battery capacity 324 kWh or 600 Ah, Iron phosphate batteries.  Range 150mi, top speed 43 mph
  2. BYD bus (from China) 60ft, 60 seater.  Two 180kW motors.  Battery capacity 547.5 kWh or 750 Ah, Iron phosphate batteries.  Range 170mi, top speed 60 mph
  3. Electric scooter, 59kg.  250W battery, 48V, 12 Ah.  Range 50Km at 25 Km/hr

Additions:

  1. Chevy Volt.  18.4 kWh, Li-ion battery with 53 mi range with battery alone.  It also has 63 kW (84 hp) 1398 cc gasoline engine.  The total range is 420 miles.
  2. Tesla Model S.  Two models 60 kWh and 85 kWh.  It uses Li-ion 18650 commodity cells (usually found in laptops).  Panasonic is the supplier.  60kWh model has distance range of 208 miles and 85 kWh is 265 miles.

Yield to the YieldCos

New method of financing wind and solar power plants is upon us.  SunEdison (and it YieldCo company Terraform Power) have catapaulted from a strong position in solar power plants to a dominant position in wind power plants in less than a year.  SunEdison along with Nextera, NRG Energy and others have brought Wall Street money to renewable energy.  

What does it all mean?  It means yield seeking investor like you and me, mutual funds, pension funds and others are investing in renewable energy projects and enjoying yields that result from sale of electricity produced from these plants.  These plants have long-term power purchase agreements, so the uncertainty in revenue is small and a reasonable yield is available for minimal risk.  

What does it mean when renewable energy power plants become such liquid assets?   It means that owners of renewable energy projects can deleverage by taking these renewable energy assets off their books and raise cash for reinvesting in more renewable energy projects.

SunEdison (Terraform Power) has adopted this approach.  In 2015, it has bought 930MW of wind portfolio through acquisition of Invenergy, 521 MW from Atlantic Power, 500 MW from First Wind and 242 MW from Continuum Wind.  It has grown from 1.7GW at the beginning of 2015 to 6.8GW as of July 2015.   It has signed a 50-50 JV with Gamesa to build 1GW of wind plants in India by 2018.  

The big question now is, as the era of production tax credits (PTC) sunsets in the USA, can YieldCos provide a cheap source of financing to wind projects in order to reach cost grid parity with coal or gas powered power plants?  This is certainly likely.  As evidence consider in 2013, in the US, the average power purchase agreement price was 2.6 cents per kWh (LBNL Wind technology report, 2014).  Add to the PPA 2.3 cents per kWh PTC for 10 years, and you come up with the fact that new wind power plants are getting less than 5 cents per kWh.  I doubt a new coal fired power plant will take a PPA of less than 5 cents.  Lets watch how the era of YieldCos unfolds in terms of bringing down the price of wind energy.

Denmark wind energy output exceeds national demand

On Friday July 10 evening, Denmark produced 116% of national demand; the number jumped to 140% at 3am when the demand dropped.  Electricity was exported to Germany, Norway and Sweden.  EnergiNet.dk, the grid operator in Denmark posts almost realtime information about wind production in Denmark at http://energinet.dk/EN/El/Sider/Elsystemet-lige-nu.aspx.  

For whole year of 2014, wind produced 39.1% of electricity consumed in Denmark.  There has been a steady rise in the past 6 years (from http://energinet.dk/EN/El/Nyheder/Sider/Vindmoeller-slog-rekord-i-2014.aspx):

The wind power share of power consumption over the last ten years
2013: 32.7% (* Adjusted for solar cells)
2012: 32.0% (* Adjusted for solar cells)
2011: 28.3%
2010: 22.0%
2009: 19.4%
2008: 19.3%
2007: 19.9%
2006: 17.0%
2005: 18.7%
2004: 18.8%

 

Wind Power Installation Stats for 2014

US installed 4.7GW in 2014, for total installed capacity of 64.2GW

China installed 20.7GW in 2014, for total installed capacity of 96GW

Germany installed 3.2GW

Brazil installed 2.7GW

India installed 2.3GW

Unique in 2014:  1GW was repowered with new turbines on existing project sites.

For details see, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-22/u-s-wind-power-installations-ro...

 

IRENA report says that cost of electricity (LCOE) from wind energy in some parts of the world is lower than from fossil fuel

According to the report, onshore wind is the most cost competitive sources of not only renewable energy but also fossil-fuel based energy.

Note hydro is the only one that has a lower cost than wind in some cases, but it variability is high. 

renewable power costs IRENA chart

Source: IRENA report on Renewable Power Generation Cost in 2014.  http://www.irena.org/menu/index.aspx?mnu=Subcat&PriMenuID=36&CatID=141&S....

More details at:  http://cleantechnica.com/2015/01/19/new-report-confirms-renewable-power-...

Net load curves in California

CA is shooting for 33% RE by 2020.  This is likely to change the daily load curve.  With high solar penetration, in summer the load curve will match solar generation, while in winter, the net load curve will have two peaks--early morning and evening.  California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has initiated these to mitigate the impact (Source: North American WindPower, Jan 2015):

- Increased focus on flexible resources

- Implementation of a storage mandate

- Market design enhancements for intra-hour scheduling

- Creation of energy imbalance market

- Development of time-of-use pricing

- Assessment of demand response options