NewEnergyNews: 08/01/2020 - 09/01/2020


Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, the administration's position on the climate crisis makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Therefore, until November 2020, the NewEnergyNews theme song:


  • Colbert And Greta, Part 2
  • Weekend Video: New Energy For Recovery
  • Weekend Video: Energy Storage Changes The Game

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Four Deniers To Avoid
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Keeps Growing


  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: Big money to utilities: Face climate risks or lose market value
  • TTTA Wednesday-The Threat And Opportunity From Transportation Electrification

  • MONDAY STUDY: Policy Design For Hybrid Renewables

  • Weekend Video: Greta – What Leadership Looks Like
  • Weekend Video: China’s Greta
  • Weekend Video: This Is Leadership?
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish



    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart




      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.


    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • MONDAY’S STUDY AT NewEnergyNews, August 10:
  • The World’s New Energy Right Now

    Monday, August 10, 2020

    The World’s New Energy Right Now Global Trends In Renewable Energy Investment 2020

    July 2020 (Frankfurt School, United Nations Environment Program, BloombergNEF)

    Key Findings

    -Governments and companies around the world have committed to adding some 826 gigawatts of new non-hydro renewable power capacity in the decade to 2030, at a likely cost of around $1 trillion. Those commitments fall far short of what would be needed to limit world temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius. They also look modest compared to the $2.7 trillion invested during the 2010-2019 decade, as recorded by this Global Trends report.

    -The Covid-19 crisis has slowed down deal-making in renewables in recent months, along with that in other sectors, and this will affect investment levels in 2020. However, governments now have the chance to tailor their economic recovery programs to accelerate the phase-out of polluting processes and the adoption of cost-competitive sustainable technologies.

    -The stakes are high. If this chance is missed, it may be even more difficult to find the funding to decarbonize the energy system in a postCovid-19 global economy characterized by elevated government debt and squeezed private sector finances.

    -In 2019, the amount of new renewable power capacity added (excluding large hydro) was the highest ever, at 184 gigawatts, 20GW more than in 2018. This included 118GW of new solar systems, and 61GW of wind turbines. n Falling costs meant that this record commissioning of green gigawatts could happen in a year when dollar investment in renewable energy capacity stayed almost flat. In 2019, renewable energy capacity investment was $282.2 billion, just 1% higher than the previous year.

    -Capacity investment in solar slipped 3% to $131.1 billion in 2019, while that in wind climbed 6% to $138.2 billion – the first time that wind has outweighed solar in terms of dollars committed since 2010. Falling capital costs, and a further slowdown in China’s PV market, held back the solar total.

    -Investment in offshore wind hit its highest ever, at $29.9 billion, up 19% year-on-year thanks to a fourth-quarter surge, most notably in China but also in France – the first financial close in its offshore program – and the U.K. The year saw Taiwan secure its first three financings for seabased arrays.

    -The U.S. edged ahead of Europe in terms of renewables investment last year. The U.S. invested $55.5 billion, up 28%, helped by a record rush of onshore wind financings to take advantage of tax credits before their expected expiry, while Europe committed $54.6 billion, down 7%.

    -Developing countries continued to outpace developed economies in renewables investment. In 2019, they committed $152.2 billion, compared to $130 billion for developed countries. But there was a shift in the mix, with China and India both slipping back, while ‘other developing countries’ jumped 17% to a record $59.5 billion. Included in the latter figure was the largest financing ever in the solar sector: $4.3 billion for the Al Maktoum IV solar thermal and photovoltaic complex in Dubai.

    -Once again, renewables dwarfed conventional generation sources in terms of both capacity additions and investment. Nearly 78% of the net gigawatts of generating capacity added globally in 2019 were in wind, solar, biomass and waste, geothermal and small hydro. Investment in renewables excluding large hydro was more than three times that in new fossil fuel plants.

    -Renewable technologies (excluding large hydro) raised their share of global generation to 13.4% in 2019, from 12.4% in 2018 and just 5.9% in 2009. That share is increasing slowly because of the large, established fossil fuel fleet. However, that amount of renewable electricity production last year was enough to prevent the emission of an estimated 2.1 gigatonnes of CO2.

    -The all-in, or levelized, cost of electricity continued to fall for wind and solar, thanks to technology improvements, economies of scale and fierce competition in auctions. For solar PV, it stood in the second half of 2019 some 83% lower than a decade earlier, while the equivalent reductions for onshore and offshore wind were 49% and 51% respectively.

    The Impact of 2030 Targets

    -This Focus Chapter of the Global Trends report looks ahead to the new decade, and the additions in renewable energy capacity that are implied by official government targets and company voluntary targets. It compares those extra gigawatts with what would be required to bring global power system emissions into line with the need to limit climate change. It also looks at some specific targets to bring low-carbon alternatives into other parts of the energy system, such as heat and transport.

    -Renewable energy 2030 targets already written into official policy by 87 governments around the world would mean the construction of an estimated 721 gigawatts of new capacity in wind, solar and other non-hydro renewable power technologies over the next decade, according to analysis by BloombergNEF.

    -Meanwhile, those private sector companies that have joined the RE100 group, pledging to source 100% of their power from renewables, will need to buy an estimated 210 terawatt-hours of green electricity by 2030, on top of what they consume now, in order to be on track. This could prompt the construction of an estimated 105 gigawatts of new wind and solar plants.

    -Taken together, these commitments by governments and companies would imply 826GW of new capacity. This could entail around $1 trillion of investment globally during the next 10 years, or an average of $100 billion per year.

    -However, the targets above – and the implied investment – are only a fraction of what would be required to put the world on a path to reduce carbon dioxide emissions sufficiently to limit temperature increases to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, as stated in the Paris Agreement. This message of a shortfall in ambition is in tune with the message of the latest UNEP Emission Gap report.1

    -The 2030 targets are also modest compared to what has already been done. As shown in Chapter 1 of this report, in the decade 2010-2019, the world added 1,213 gigawatts of renewable power capacity (excluding large hydro-electric dams), investing nearly $2.7 trillion

    The beginning of a new decade provides an opportunity for the Global Trends report to feature this forward-looking chapter. True to the report’s established role, the usual analysis of renewable energy investment in the year just past is contained in the subsequent Chapters 1 to 7.

    This chapter looks at the amount of new renewable power capacity that will need to be built in the years up to 2030 to meet the official targets of governments around the world, and then at the additional amount implied by targets set by private sector companies. It then compares those numbers with what would be necessary to meet international climate goals…

    Saturday, August 08, 2020

    Colbert And Greta, Part 2

    In the second part of global climate hero Greta Thunberg’s interview with Stephen Colbert, she talks about her most recent efforts to raise climate crisis consciousness amid a pandemic. From The Late Show with Stephen Colbert via YouTube

    New Energy For Recovery

    Using recovery funding to support New Energy will do more than bring back yesterday, it will bring on a better tomorrow. From NationalSierraClub via YouTube

    Energy Storage Changes The Game

    It used to be called New Energy’s Holy Grail. Now it is the energy transition’s gamechanger. From Have A Think via YouTube

    Friday, August 07, 2020

    Four Deniers To Avoid

    The four types of climate denier, and why you should ignore them all

    Damian Carrington, 230 July 2020 (UK Guardian)

    “…It is becoming increasingly clear that] those who deny the reality or danger of the climate emergency should be ignored…The science is clear, the severity understood at the highest levels everywhere, and serious debates about what to do are turning into action. The deniers have nothing to contribute to this…However infuriating they are, arguing with them or debunking their theories is likely only to generate publicity or money for them. It also helps to generate a fake air of controversy over climate action that provides cover for the vested interests seeking to delay the end of the fossil fuel age…[Deniers] tend to fit into one of four different categories…[The shill is almost always] paid by vested interests to emit clouds of confusion…This uncertainty creates a smokescreen behind which polluters can lobby…

    [The grifters] just warm their hands on the outrage, count the clicks and wait for the pay cheque…[The egomaniacs] are desperate for recognition…[and] make increasingly extreme pronouncements…[The ideological fool can be intelligent, but is utterly blinded by the] inane, no-limits version of the free-market creed…The climate emergency requires coordinated global action…[Deniers] could explore the many credible climate action plans…The world of finance and business is catching up fast with the science, and almost all the technology needed already exists. In short, no sane or serious actor can countenance denial of climate danger. Bad-faith arguments motivated by greed, egomania or ideology have nothing to add…” click here for more

    New Energy Keeps Growing

    Renewable Energy Growth Continues At A Blistering Pace

    Robert Rapier, August 2, 2020 (Forbes)

    “…Renewable energy continued its blistering growth pace in 2019, globally increasing by 12.2% over 2018. Over the past decade, renewable energy consumption has grown at an average annual rate of 13.7%...Renewables were the only category of energy that grew globally at double digits over the past decade…Globally, hydroelectricity represented 6.4% of the world’s primary energy consumption in 2019…[Modern renewables, wind power, solar power, biofuels, geothermal and biomass] accounted for 5.0% of the world’s primary energy consumption in 2019, but this category will likely surpass hydroelectricity within five years…[Renewable Power] accounted for 86% of all renewable energy consumption…[W]ind (51%) and solar (26%) accounted for most of the consumption…

    [S]olar power consumption is growing at about twice the rate of wind power, and is likely to overtake it as the leading source of renewable power this decade. China overtook the U.S. as the world’s top consumer of renewable energy in 2018, and continues to extend its lead…[Its] growth rate over the past decade vastly exceeds all other members of the Top 10. Cumulatively, the Top 10 consumers accounted for 76% of the world’s renewable energy consumption in 2019…[Per capita consumption of renewables in the U.S. is still well ahead of China’s…[O]verall global energy consumption is growing…[and because] fossil fuel consumption made up most of this growth…global carbon emissions continue to grow…” click here for more

    Wednesday, August 05, 2020

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Big money to utilities: Face climate risks or lose market value

    BlackRock, Morgan Stanley to utilities: Tackle climate-related risks or lose market value; Analyst research shows utilities that address climate-related physical and transition risks earn higher valuations from investors.

    Herman K. Trabish | April 6, 2020 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The newest surveys suggest investors now see sustainability as a necessary investment, not an indulgence.

    Financial market data shows utilities that address risks associated with the changing climate see significant benefits, and utilities that do not lose market value.

    Analyses from BlackRock, Morgan Stanley and others reflect what the world is learning in the COVID-19 fight: Aggressive action proactively addressing systemic risk produces better outcomes than pretending there is little risk. For utilities, the data shows that addressing climate-related risks with system hardening and emissions reductions attracts investors and shifts stock valuations, while relying on business as usual discourages investors and increases stock price volatility.

    "The evidence on climate risk is compelling investors to reassess core assumptions about modern finance" because they see that "climate risk is investment risk," CEO Larry Fink of BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager, wrote in January. Companies that do not respond to climate change will face "growing skepticism from the markets" and "a higher cost of capital," but companies that respond will attract "higher-quality, more patient capital."

    Many analysts say utilities that have set climate risk-related goals also remain dangerously invested in fossil assets. Studies show market valuations increase when utilities strengthen their physical systems and begin transitioning to renewables. The cost-effectiveness of addressing climate risk remains uncertain because the climate is changing so much and so fast that historical weather data does not necessarily reflect new realities. But investors are making their concerns clear.

    As a result of a "profound reassessment of risk and asset values" in a changing climate, "there will be a significant reallocation of capital by investors," Fink wrote in his annual letter to CEOs in January. Climate's "physical risk" was detailed in an April 2019 BlackRock-Rhodium Group white paper of impacts on the infrastructure of 269 investor-owned utilities (IOUs) from 233 extreme weather events since 1980 that each caused more than $1 billion in damages.

    Electric utilities with "exposure to extreme weather events" typically suffer temporary, as much as 6%, stock price volatility shocks "in the wake of natural disasters," the white paper concluded. The "transition risks" from climate change come from a myriad of factors associated with transitioning to clean energy, a separate April 2019 Rhodium Group paper reported. Physical risks come from chronic or sudden extreme weather events that impact infrastructure. But today's models of physical risk "significantly underestimate actual risk," it added… click here for more

    The Threat And Opportunity From Transportation Electrification

    Influx of Electric Vehicles Accelerates Need for Grid Planning; For grid reliability, PNNL study shows advance planning and smart EV charging strategies could help cities and utilities smooth out the duck curve and avoid costly new infrastructure

    Kintner-Meyer, Sarah Davis, Dhruv Bhatnagar, Sid Sridhar, Malini Ghosal, and Shant Mahserejian, July 29, 2020 (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

    “…[A new study integrates multiple factors not evaluated before about] the capacity of the power grid in the western U.S. over the next decade as growing fleets of EVs of all sizes, including trucks, plug into charging stations at homes and businesses and on transportation routes…[T]hrough 2028, the overall power system, from generation through transmission, looks healthy up to 24 million EVs—about 9% of the current light-duty vehicle traffic in the United States…[At about 30 million EVs, issues may arise because] current grid planning doesn’t adequately account for a mass influx of EVs…[on] system operations…Smart charging strategies—avoiding charging during peak hours in the morning and early evening—can smooth out demand peaks…

    [I]t would take advantage of relatively clean solar power during the day…[and] reduce or eliminate the sharp ramps in the evening when solar power fades and other sources kick in to make up the difference…[The study] included a mix of light- (passenger), medium- (delivery trucks and vans) and heavy- (semis and cargo) duty vehicles on the road—the first time all three vehicle classes have been included in such an analysis…[It also included] a transportation model for freight on the road, with charging stations on interstate freeways every 50 miles for all three vehicle classes…Bottlenecks due to new EV charging appeared the most in areas of California, including Los Angeles, which plans to go all-electric with its city fleet by 2030. The pinch came from the growth of fast-charging cars and commercial fleets of electric trucks…[S]maller cities with limited resources need help planning for their charging infrastructure and hosting capacity…” click here for more

    Monday, August 03, 2020

    Policy Design For Hybrid Renewables

    Enabling Versatility: Allowing Hybrid Resources to Deliver Their Full Value to Customers

    Rob Gramlich and Michael Goggin, Jason Burwen, September 2019 (Grid Strategies and Energy Storage Association)


    Hybrid resources are growing dramatically. Energy storage-paired generators offer enhanced capabilities and can respond to economic signals differently than traditional generator resources. Yet, many grid planning rules overstate the cost of interconnecting hybrid resources, and operating rules unduly limit the flexibility and other services that these resources can provide. Industry practices, market rules, and regulations need to be updated to remove barriers to entry and allow these resources to offer their full value to the power system, which will enhance market competition and ensure just and reasonable rates.

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and regional grid operators must act quickly to ensure the development of these resources is not stunted or driven in inefficient directions. Some changes can be made in the near-term to better integrate these resources by treating hybrid resources as two separate units and harmonizing the participation models of those separate units.

    However, for hybrid resources to deliver their full value, they may eventually need to be treated as fully integrated single machines, able to optimize what they provide and when they provide it. Neither current market rules nor those being actively considered by regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) allow them this flexibility to optimize their output. A much broader discussion involving grid operators, regulators, and the industry can consider different ways of operating the bulk power system and electricity markets, where what happens behind the point of interconnection of a supply facility is treated as the responsibility of its owner and where grid operators focus on providing accurate market price signals to encourage efficient and reliable behavior of all participants.

    Introduction: Hybrid resources are the next big thing in regional electricity markets

    Among the biggest changes occurring in electricity markets today is the rush to develop hybrid resources. Hybrids now represent a large share of new proposed projects in all regions and are increasingly being selected as the most economic resources in competitive solicitations.

    A hybrid resource is a co-located pairing of two different electric supply technologies.1 Batteries are the core technology driving hybridization of resources since they are highly scalable and modular, and therefore can be installed in all parts of the electric grid—co-located at generation sites, directly integrated into transmission or distribution infrastructure, or located on customer premises, with the optimal site depending on localized conditions and needs. While solar photovoltaic generation paired with batteries are the most common hybrid resource, there are also wind-battery, gas-battery, and hydro-battery configurations in operation or being planned, as well as hybrids of wind-solar-storage and other paired generation configurations.

    This paper assesses barriers to and proposes solutions for enabling storage-plus-generation hybrid resource deployment on the bulk power system, particularly in organized wholesale markets administered by RTOs and ISOs. We developed the following material and recommendations through interviews with developers of hybrid resources, grid operators, and transmission owners, as well as our own analysis. While there are related barriers to the deployment of hybrid resources on the distribution system or in behind-the-meter configurations, those considerations are beyond the scope of this paper. Similarly, while hybrid resources face barriers as qualifying facilities under PURPA rules,2 those considerations are also beyond the scope of this paper. Many of the barriers here also reflect issues faced by stand-alone storage units; we include them to comprehensively catalogue the issues faced by hybrid resources. Finally, while many of the barriers to storage-generation hybrids discussed in this paper also apply to generation-generation hybrids, addressing generation-generation hybrid issues fully are beyond the scope of this paper.

    The surge of market interest in hybrids is moving faster than the evolution of market rules, which are presently unclear at best and in many cases ill-suited to these projects. We strongly recommend RTOs/ISOs and FERC begin the process of reform now. Broad groups of market participants are requesting a clearer regulatory framework for hybrids. 3 The rationale underlying FERC Order 841, which was focused on removing wholesale market barriers for storage resources, justifies an effort to remove similar barriers for hybrid resources. We hope that this paper provides a useful starting point for the discussion of needed reforms.

    Dramatic growth in hybrid resources is expected

    Hybrid resource deployment is rising dramatically. Interconnection queues, where developers file generator interconnection applications with grid operators and transmission owners, are filling up with proposals for hybrid resources. PJM, ISO-New England (ISO-NE), and California ISO (CAISO) interconnection processes all allow specification of whether proposed resources will be co-located with a storage device, and MISO categorizes co-located interconnection requests as hybrids in their interconnection queue. Collectively, these four RTOs/ISOs have 56,547 MW of active hybrid projects in their interconnection queues.4 In particular, California ISO reports that 41% of the projects in its interconnection queue are hybrid resources.5

    Hybrids are also increasingly being selected as the most economic resources in competitive solicitations outside of RTO/ISO markets. Of the 430 proposed projects that Xcel Energy received in response to an all-source procurement request in 2017, 110 were hybrid projects featuring wind and solar connected to storage.6 The Hawaiian Electric Company recently selected 262 MW worth of new solar-plus-storage contracts of solar and 1,048 MWh of storage capacity at contract prices 14% lower than those set in 2017 and 40% lower than 2016 prices. 7 In Oklahoma, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative recently signed a contract with NextEra Energy Resources for a hybrid 250 MW wind, 250 MW solar, and 200 MW/800 MWh battery project, while earlier this year Portland General Electric also signed a contract with NextEra for a hybrid 300 MW wind, 50 MW solar, and 30 MW/120 MWh battery project.8 NV Energy in Nevada recently contracted for a portfolio of hybrid projects consisting of 1200 MW of solar and 590 MW of batteries, building on the prior year’s procurement of 1,001 MW of solar and 100 MW of storage. 9 One of the first large-scale hybrid projects was a 100 MW solar and 30 MW battery hybrid contracted in 2017 and currently under construction for Tucson Electric Power.10

    Market projections indicate rapid growth of hybrids. Analytical Research Cognizance estimated the global market for hybrid projects to reach $58 billion/year by 2023. 11 Major project developers are publicly reporting large increases in hybrid projects, with many announcing additions of storage to most or all of their renewable energy projects. 12

    In theory, there should be little reason to co-locate storage and generation resources that operate in wholesale electric markets. Since grid operating areas inherently aggregate all supply resources to meet demand, there is no need to co-locate a storage resource with a generator. In practice, however, technical, economic, and regulatory factors are increasingly driving wholesale market participants to colocate storage with generation:

    • Cost reductions. As illustrated in Figure 1, the costs of batteries, solar, and wind resources have fallen dramatically, making both stand-alone and hybrid resources with any combination of those resources far more competitive than just a few years ago. As shown in Figure 2 from NextEra, the cost of adding batteries to solar projects is expected to continue to decline.

    • Project cost savings. The capital costs of co-located storage and solar projects are generally cheaper than two separate project installations, as shown in Figure 3. A recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that the cost of a co-located, DC-coupled storage-solar hybrid system is 8% lower than the cost of the system with storage and solar sited separately; similarly, the cost of a co-located, AC-coupled system is 7% lower. Project cost savings derive from the ability to share inverter and associated balance of system (BOS) electrical equipment, as well as the economies of scale from sharing relatively fixed design, interconnection, permitting, and construction costs.

    • Investment tax credit (ITC). Over the last several years the IRS has clarified rules around how the Section 48 and 25D investment tax credits (ITC) apply to storage integrated into solar power projects. The industry has become comfortable with the practice of applying the federal ITC to the battery portion of a renewable project which is eligible if 75 percent of the battery’s charging comes from the renewable facility for the first five years of the project’s operation. As the solar ITC phases down from 30% to 10%16 over the next few years, this incentive creates pressure for utility off-takers and project developers to increasingly deploy these projects while this benefit is in effect. This tax credit advantage typically accrues to solar and not wind projects. Almost all land-based wind projects elect the Section 45 Production Tax Credit (PTC) and not the ITC option, as wind plants’ high production relative to their investment cost makes the PTC more beneficial. 17 However, wind projects may elect an ITC in lieu of the PTC, which could potentially provide an incentive to integrate storage.

    • Efficient Use of Transmission Interconnection Capacity. Generator interconnections have become a scarce and valuable commodity in most electric power markets. There are large queues of generation and long waits for projects to move through the process. FERC attempted to improve interconnection queues with its four-year process culminating in Order No. 845. While these reforms have helped, queue logjams remain. Long queues will likely continue as long as transmission planning processes fail to proactively develop transmission capacity to serve remote high-quality resource areas. Indeed, then-FERC Commissioner Cheryl Lafleur raised the question during the FERC interconnection process, “Where does the interconnection process leave off and the transmission planning process start?”18 In many regions, the answer is that interconnecting generators carry a large share of the cost burden for network transmission upgrades. Scarce interconnections create an opportunity for hybrid resources since two resources together can utilize less interconnection capacity together than two separate interconnections. This is particularly true when storage resources can be charged by the colocated generator to limit injections onto the power system. Order No. 845 began to enable this efficiency, though as discussed below, barriers remain to developers’ ability to capture this efficiency.

    • More efficient plant design. Another efficiency aspect of hybrid resources is that components of the system, mainly the inverter and associated electrical equipment, can be shared. This is especially true for battery storage DC-coupled with a PV facility on the generation side of the inverter. Inverters and associated electrical equipment are expensive components of projects, so many solar developers significantly oversize the solar module’s DC capacity relative to the rating of the inverter. This results in a DC solar module capacity rating that is higher than the AC capacity rating of the inverter, called the Inverter Loading Ratio (ILR). Average ILRs have increased from 1.2 in 2010 to 1.32 in 2017, and continue to increase as PV module costs decline faster than the cost of inverters and AC balance of plant equipment. 19 An additional reason driving high ILRs is that PV module output degrades somewhat over time, so a fully-sized inverter will not be fully used for much of its life. Higher ILRs also drive more energy production, higher capacity value, and less variable output, as the output from the oversized PV modules reaches the inverter rating in more hours. When the inverter capacity is less than the PV output, some of the output is “clipped,” or “spilled,” similar to when a hydroelectric dam cannot use all of the available water and must divert some to its spillway. High ILRs are economic because solar plants seldom reach maximum output, and the marginal value of midday production in solar-saturated markets is not high enough to justify the additional inverter expense. However, co-locating storage can “soak up” this excess production for later use, increasing utilization of the inverter and the output of the plant and often discharging this stored energy during more valuable hours in the evening or morning. In one analysis, the amount of clipping was reduced by 80 percent by co-locating a 3 MW/3 MWh battery with a 7.1 MW (AC) PV facility with a 1.4

    • Optimizing resources in inefficient markets. In a perfectly efficient wholesale power market, each resource would sell its services into a market that would aggregate variable generation resources, more dispatchable resources like storage, and all other resources with no “firming” of individual resources would be necessary. However, many US power markets are a long way from such ideal efficiency. Outside of ISOs and RTOs, market participants rely on bilateral contracts that bundle multiple services together, and have limited liquid market opportunities to procure the range of services they need. Hybrid resources are therefore especially in demand in less efficient power systems. This is true internationally as well, where power markets are less developed than in US regions with RTOs. 21 Even in RTOs, inefficient scheduling and dispatch processes and penalties, capacity market crediting rules, rules setting duration requirements to provide ancillary services, and other requirements can limit the ability of resources, particularly variable wind and solar resources, to offer into markets. Until those requirements are updated, hybrid resources can ease participation of renewable resources in these markets.

    • Self-optimization opportunities. Hybrid resources allow generation owners many more tools and strategies to optimize their resource in electric power markets compared to stand-alone generators. Many project owners have extremely sophisticated forecasting, marketing, and trading operations that they use to increase the value of the resources they own. Power markets are volatile, fast-moving, and complex. Very often small changes, such as shifting power output from one 5-minute period to another, can lead to much higher revenues. Efficient RTO markets strive to optimize dispatch for overall system efficiency, but plant owners possess superior knowledge about their resources and have a much greater incentive than anyone else to optimize their operations. This is particularly true for hybrids that incorporate energy-limited storage resources and stochastic wind and solar resources, as the optimal commitment and dispatch of those resources is best determined through probabilistic analysis that is not widely used by grid operators today. Providing the plant owner the option for self-control ensures they have the freedom to use their own forecasting and probabilistic analysis to optimize the commitment and dispatch of their own resources. This should result in more efficient commitment and dispatch of the entire system, with dispersed information aggregated and incentives coordinated through market prices. Indeed, a central tenet of markets is that decentralized decision-making can increase efficiency by aggregating information and incentivizing individual market participants to maximize their value—one reason why power markets should consider allowing this versatility from individual project owners.

    • Congestion reduction. Significant generation deployment is occurring in areas with limited transmission delivery capacity. Most high-quality renewable resource areas are remote from population centers with limited transmission access, and very limited transmission planning proactively taking place to access those resources. The result is low locational energy prices and occasional curtailment in the areas of the renewable energy development. This is occurring mainly for wind energy, but increasingly for solar as well. Storage can help a renewable project owner avoid some of the low prices and curtailment if it is placed on the generation side (as opposed to the load side) of these transmission constraints. The most efficient place on the generation side of the constraint may be on-site with the generator in order to capture the benefits described above. Congestion is expected to grow in coming years as renewable deployment, particularly the current flurry of activity driven by the phase down of the aforementioned tax credits, outpaces transmission expansion to renewable resource areas.

    Regulations have not kept pace with technology and markets…Devising a regulatory framework for hybrid resources…Near-term reform priorities by region…Fully integrated hybrid operation requires much broader changes…


    Continuing progress toward wider market competition As power sector technology innovation continues to evolve rapidly in electricity markets, there are significant opportunities to improve electricity market rules, remove barriers to entry, and evolve industry practices to better enable RTO/ISOs to serve customers with reliable and low-cost energy. Hybrid resources present another significant new technology advancement, potentially comparable to the recent growth of wind, solar, and stand-alone storage. In the near-term, co-locating storage and generation can provide efficiencies with plant design and interconnection, as well as allow customers to gain the benefit of tax credits that cover the storage portion as well as the renewable portion of the 48 CAISO plants. FERC and each RTO and ISO have major roles to play in this endeavor. A few of the RTOs and ISOs have begun the complicated and important stakeholder discussions and analysis needed to clarify rules for hybrid resources and allow for some incremental improvements. FERC can extend the leadership it showed recently with Order No. 841 for energy storage and Order No. 845 for generator interconnection to address hybrid resources, which were not addressed in either rulemaking. There is some urgency to this initiative, since so many market participants are making business decisions without the clarity of market rules and regulatory policy they need.

    Longer term, there are more fundamental issues of how to allow hybrids to participate in markets as fully-integrated single machines, which may require broader reforms in the level of control maintained by grid operators over individual plants on the system. With hybrid resources comprising a large share of newly interconnecting generation and with most of the new plants capable of operating as fully integrated machines, there is little time to wait for this analysis of broader reforms.

    Appendix A:

    Grid operator discussion papers on hybrid resources

    Three grid operators, PJM, MISO, and CAISO have held meetings and issued discussion papers on hybrid resources.

    CAISO Hybrid Issues White Paper:49 Citing an increase in interest in hybrid resources by stakeholders, as well as an increase in hybrid interconnection requests and actual deployment, CAISO released a white paper in July of 2019 that seeks to address solutions that can more easily integrate these resources into the market. This paper touches on topics that explore issues related to interconnections, markets and operations, ancillary services, deliverability, and resource adequacy, as well as metering telemetry, and settlements. CAISO offers this paper as part of the preliminary stage of a stakeholder engagement plan, which ultimately aims to produce a proposal for enhanced or potentially new market rules and business processes that can more efficiently accommodate hybrid resources.

    PJM’s FAQ: 50 Following the release of the original PJM electric storage resource participation model FAQ document in September of 2018, 51 the ISO later revised the FAQ to include a section on hybrid resources in February of 2019. The document includes links that summarize FERC Order 841 and lay out its directives, as well as describe the current state of the market as it relates to storage resources and how PJM plans to comply with the Order. With regard to hybrid storage in particular, the FAQ document topics range from the different types of hybrid resources that PJM considers to how they might participate in the capacity market, among other specifics.

    MISO ESTF: 52 In May of 2019, the MISO ESTF submitted an issue form concerning a market participation model for generating facilities with multiple fuel sources. The ESTF notes that while FERC Orders 845 and 845-A allow for the interconnection of hybrid interconnection facilities, they find there to be issues and requirements that necessitate an evaluation of solutions that can increase market efficiency as the number of hybrid resources on the grid increases in the future. Specifically, the task force identifies issues related to reliability, planning and cost allocation, resource adequacy, and markets, and considers the issue surrounding hybrids to be a candidate for the MISO “Integrated Roadmap.”53…

    Saturday, August 01, 2020

    Greta – What Leadership Looks Like

    She started a global movement. Two results: People are waking up but some see the movement as a threat. From The Late Show with Stephen Colbert via YouTube

    China’s Greta

    Howey Ou has led school strikes in China for action on the climate crisis for 13 months. Remember the name because in this fight, China matters. A lot. From Guardian News via YouTube

    This Is Leadership?

    Here, Rep. Gohmert ridicules climate crisis concerns. More recently, he tested positive for Covid and said he got it from his mask, which amounts to ridiculing himself, though he probably doesn’t get the joke. From The Heritage Foundation via YouTube