On September 28, the Department of Energy released a new report titled “Revolution…Now,” which paints a very positive picture for green energy. The report says that government investments in technology have paid off dramatically, especially in the case of utility-scale wind and solar electricity generation. These technologies accounted for 66 percent of all new capacity installed in 2015. The report also flagged what it sees as key emerging technologies: fuel cells, grid-connected batteries, energy management systems, and 3-D printing.
GreenTechMedia pulled a few of the charts from the report to show “the green revolution is here.” One of the most compelling charts shows cost reductions in key technologies since 2008. The chart shows cost reductions of 41 percent for land-based wind, 64 percent for utility-scale solar, and 73 percent for “modeled” battery costs (the limited real-world use of batteries makes the use of models necessary). Deployment of these technologies are all growing dramatically, though they still apply to a relatively small percentage of electricity actually generated. Others have not panned out as well, for example, the deployment of electric and hybrid vehicles has fallen far short of governmental goals.
These technologies touted by the Department of Energy are closely tied to the idea of flexibility within the electricity grid. Wind and solar power is variable, so the grid must be flexible to account for those variations. Electric cars can be charged at night, which could create a larger draw on utilities than is typical for the quiet hours. Batteries may be the answer to this need for flexibility. One way for utilities to remain flexible is to control their demand by contracting directly with customers, potentially providing lower rates at night in exchange for higher rates at peak times. The experts at AGR Group Green can help you navigate your options. Contact us today for a free consultation.