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Elon Musk’s Grand Plan to Power the World With Batteries | © [wired.com]

The idea of energy storage has been around since the 1970s, says Ravi Manghani, a senior energy storage analyst at GTM Research, but didn’t advance much until the early 2000s. In the past decade, an increased appetite for renewable energy and advances in solar panels and lithium ion batteries have attracted dozens of players to the idea of letting consumers and utilities put their power in reserve.

Battery efficiency is growing about 8 percent annually, according to Manghani. Prices are expected to drop 50 percent in the next two to three years, says Sam Wilkinson, research manager for solar and energy storage at IHS Technology. That’s due in part to Tesla, and while there’s still room for improvement, it’s a great start.

The market for energy storage is split into three segments, Wilkinson says: Utilities, commercial, and residential.

via Elon Musk’s Grand Plan to Power the World With Batteries | WIRED.

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Graphs of the Day: The success of Germany’s energy transition • © [reneweconomy.com.au]

There is a great debate about the success or otherwise of Germany’s Energiewende, or Energy Transition. Most of it is uninformed, and much of it is fuelled by the nuclear and coal industries, which have most to lose from the push into renewables by Europe’s most successful economy.

This series of graphs shows how the renewable targets are on track, have lowered emissions, decoupled energy consumption from economic growth, pushed wholesale prices down to record lows, and are now pushing retail prices down. And it has done some interesting things to the energy mix.

The graphs were prepared in a report by Agora Energiewende, a Berlin-based think tank whose former head Rainer Bakke is now the chief advisor to Germany’s energy and economics minister on the future of the Energiewende.

The first graph shows that the renewable target is still on track. This graph shows the target for 2025, and that will continue to a target of 55-60 per cent by 2035, and 80 per cent by 2050.

via Graphs of the Day: The success of Germany’s energy transition : Renew Economy.

Germany Added A Lot Of Wind And Solar Power, And Its Electric Grid Became More Reliable – [thinkprogress.org]

To hear its critics tell it, Germany’s ambitious push to switch over to renewable energy has delivered an electrical grid that’s capricious, unreliable, and prone to blackouts. But according to data highlighted by ECO Report last week, the reality on the ground couldn’t be further from that caricature.

Specifically, the availability of electricity in Germany was lost only for an average of 15.91 minutes per customer in 2012, according to figures from the Council of European Energy Regulators. That’s far better than the United States, which saw its electricity become unavailable for a whopping 244 minutes per customer in 2008. Germany also did significantly better than the United Kingdom lost 81.42 minutes per customer in 2008, the Netherlands lost 33.7 minutes per customer and France lost 95.1 minutes per customer. Of all the countries tracked, Japan and Singapore are the only two with grid reliability to match Germany’s.

via Germany Added A Lot Of Wind And Solar Power, And Its Electric Grid Became More Reliable | ThinkProgress.

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