Alternate Ways To Make Renewables More Dispatchable

Posted 28 October 2022
It’s no secret that renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are intermittent and not as dispatchable as energy providers and end users would like. (“Dispatchable” refers to the energy source’s ability to provide power on demand by turning it on or off as needed.)

However, renewable-generated energy can be made dispatchable with energy storage sized and matched to the need of the grid operator.

Most people think of batteries (lithium-ion batteries in particular) when they think of storage. However, batteries are far from the only way to keep energy on tap until it’s needed.

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What are Europe’s Natural Gas Options Now?

Posted 15 August 2022
Over the last decade and counting, Europe allowed itself to become highly dependent on Russian natural gas.

That’s primarily because Europe’s natural gas production started declining rapidly after 2010 while Russian gas remained economical and abundant.

Although alternative supplies such as LNG (liquefied natural gas) imports were increased by over 80 billion cubic meters (bcm) since 2016, this failed to cover declining domestic production.

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Why and How Batteries Make Sense With Solar

Posted 13 May 2022
Energy storage systems such as batteries are frequently paired with solar installations today.

Some solar owners may not want to include batteries in their projects, however, the main argument against their inclusion is the relatively high expense and the fact that batteries have been getting cheaper year-on-year, so why not wait?

These arguments are based on the overall LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) over the battery system's life, which has been dropping substantially over the years. We have discussed this in our blog posts Can Battery Costs Be Justified With Energy Price Arbitrage? and Hybrid Solutions: The Cost-Effective Answer To Flexible, High Demand Energy Needs.

However, the era of lower battery prices may now be coming to an end with rampant inflation taking hold in many economies. Supply chain complications are also a significant factor.

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The Commercial Solar PV Potential in Portugal

Posted 23 March 2022
Portugal is one of the warmest and sunniest countries in Europe, making it a prime candidate for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.

In fact, the country enjoys between 2300 and 3200 hours of sunshine a year, including 4 - 6 hours a day even in the winter, thanks to its largely Mediterranean climate.

There’s also the money and political will to back solar PV projects: as an EU member, Portugal has embraced the Union’s renewable energy directives, targets and rules.

The country has signed the Paris Agreement. The government is committed to support the market’s development.

One key goal is to ensure decarbonization goals are met in the most cost-effective manner: the country seeks to be climate neutral by 2050 and to cover 80% of its power consumption with renewables by 2030 .

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Making Sense of South Africa’s RMIPPPP

Posted 02 July 2021
Since 2007, South Africa has experienced widespread rolling blackouts (also known as “load shedding”) which are primarily due to insufficient power generation capacity.

The crisis has continued to worsen.

Despite the pandemic, 2020 marked the worst year on record. Data from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) showed there were 859 hours of load shedding endured by residences, industries and business.

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Why Mozambique Remains A Good Business Opportunity

Posted 14 May 2021
South Africa is Mozambique’s largest trading partner and largest foreign direct investor.

ADC Projects is a proud part of that investment and from that perspective, we would like to offer our opinion on Mozambique’s current political climate.

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How To Ensure Successful Gas Engine Plant Operations & Maintenance Outcomes

Posted 10 March 2021
Gas engine-driven power plants are frequently constructed to act as peaking power stations due to their flexibility.

They can ramp up and down much faster than other technologies and can therefore provide reliable, constant power at short notice.

However, the intermittent nature of a peaking plant means no revenue is generated until the plant is operating.

What’s more, profit is unlikely until an appropriate Operations & Maintenance (O&M) plan is implemented to ensure optimum and reliable availability.

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Why Natural Gas Electricity Generation Matters – And How to Manage Your Costs

Posted 8 January 2021
While there is a great deal of enthusiasm and even hype for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, the fact remains that natural gas contributes a large portion of our energy needs.

In fact, natural gas power plants generate around 23% of the world's electricity, primarily in the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

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Can Battery Costs Be Justified With Energy Price Arbitrage?

Posted 13 November 2020
More and more developers are considering battery storage solutions for their renewable energy projects, yet they remain a costly component.

Bloomberg NEF reports that in 2019, battery prices were $156/kWh. They also forecast that “by 2023, average prices will be close to $100/kWh”.

So although costs are dropping quickly, and battery systems provide vital dispatchability that stand-alone renewables do not, they remain more expensive on a ‘per kWh’ basis than solar and wind.

Green Tech Media reports: “Since 2012, the benchmark LCOE of lithium-ion batteries configured to supply four hours of grid power — a standard requirement for many grid services — has fallen by 74 percent, as extrapolated from historical data … In comparison, the LCOE per megawatt-hour for onshore wind, solar PV and offshore wind has fallen by 49 percent, 84 percent and 56 percent, respectively, since 2010.”

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Hybrid solutions: the cost-effective answer to flexible, high demand energy needs

Posted 12 October 2020
Hybrid renewable energy solutions are becoming more popular these days, and more projects are advertising themselves as “hybrid solutions”. So, what exactly are they?

As you might expect from the name, a hybrid solution is a combination of wind and/or solar power with a storage solution (usually a battery). Hybrid solutions can be optimised for energy or power density, varying self-discharge rates, efficiency, and overall lifetimes.

Viewed as a whole, a hybrid is "multiple technologies that are physically and electronically controlled" by the hybrid owner at a single point of interconnection and offered to the market "as a single resource."

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Where Is Solar Power Going After COVID-19?

Posted 6 August 2020
In many parts of the world, power generating capacity is under strain. This means large industry players such as foundries and mines are often forced to cut back on usage to maintain grid stability.

However, using solar power and fast-acting battery storage to operate independently of the grid offers a way around such restrictions. Such a combination addresses the often large and dynamic load changes industrial users require during operations.

We will discuss solar-hybrid options in a future article. Today we focus on how solar’s trajectory has been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the implications for present and future solar development projects, and how to potentially mitigate those challenges.

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