R-Squared Energy Blog

Pure Energy

Overview of Electricity Storage Technology and India’s Renewable Energy Goals

There is a good overview in today’s Guardian regarding the status of affairs with respect to electricity storage technologies:

The challenge for green energy: how to store excess electricity

So with grid parity now looming, finding ways to store millions of watts of excess electricity for times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine is the new Holy Grail. And there are signs that this goal — the day when large-scale energy storage becomes practical and cost-effective — might be within reach, as well. Some technologies that can store sizeable amounts of intermittent power are already deployed. Others, including at least a few with great promise, lie somewhere over the technological horizon.

I have used the “Holy Grail” term several times to describe cost effective storage of electricity. I have also given “energy storage” as an answer when people ask what we should be focusing more attention on. While this article is perhaps overly optimistic, it provides a good overview of what people are working on.

I also read a good article last night on renewable energy in India:

A Growing India Sets Goal to Harness Renewable Energy

Despite the deepening energy crisis, renewable energy, predominantly wind and biomass, make up 3 percent of India’s total electricity production. Solar energy is not even a fraction of that, though India receives abundant sunshine throughout the year.

But India hopes to move from near-zero to 20,000 megawatts of solar electricity by 2020, as part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change. Announced in June 2008, the plan is a structured response to combat global warming and part of a proposal India intends to pitch at a climate change summit in Copenhagen this December.

If there is one thing the world desperately needs, it is for India and China to embrace renewable energy as their economies grow. If they do not, I think their growth is going to encounter fierce economic resistance as their growing energy needs start to put serious pressure on oil prices.

July 19, 2009 Posted by | China, energy storage, India, oil prices, The Guardian | 51 Comments

The Controversial World Bank Report on Biofuels

I mentioned it earlier in a post, but now the full text of the World Bank report blaming biofuels for 75% of the rise in food prices has been posted:

A Note on Rising Food Prices

I don’t have time to critique it right now, but wanted to call attention to it since many had questions about how the conclusions were reached. So, you now have access to it.

July 14, 2008 Posted by | biofuels, food prices, The Guardian | 2 Comments

Guardian Survey

The Guardian has sent me a couple of e-mails asking Guardian Commercial Partners to offer a survey to readers. Some of the questions are about how often you read this (and other) blogs, whether it is good or it stinks, and an indication of your opinion on environmental issues.

Here is a link to the quiz. You have a chance at a £50 ($100) voucher to Natural Selections.

A sampling of the questions you will find:

On the scale below, please indicate to what extent you agree or disagree with the following statements: Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree

Climate change is the biggest single problem facing the world today
I think people who don’t recycle should be penalised
The idea of living ethically bores me
Because of their impact on the environment I feel guilty taking short haul flights
It is important to be able to buy locally produced goods
Politicians should lead the way on environmental issues

Which (if any) of the following do you expect to do in the next 12 months? Please select as many as apply

Install own alternative energy provision (e.g. solar panels)
Insulate my house
Buy a “green” car
Take out a “green” financial product
Buy an energy efficient washing machine/dishwasher/fridge/freezer
Buy eco-friendly household products
Switch energy provision to green provider/tariff
None of the above

Feel free to take the quiz. Or not.

January 15, 2008 Posted by | The Guardian | 1 Comment