Monday, 20 May 2013

Nearly 100% Of New California Electricity To Be Solar In 2H 2013


Nearly 100% Of New California Electricity To Be Solar In 2H 2013

Herman Trabish of Greentech Media has happened across a pretty interesting find — 97% of new electricity generation capacity in line to be added to the California grid in the second half (2H) of 2012 is from solar power projects.
Photo: 97% of the new energy will be solar, the rest will be from biomass projects. 

More info:  http://bit.ly/113bIN6

Via: 350.org
This is according to the California Independent System Operator (the ISO), as published in the 2012 Annual Report on Market Issues and Performance. In total, 1,633 megawatts of generation capacity are in line to be added to the grid in 2H 2013. A whopping 1,581 megawatts (MW) are from solar projects. 52 MW are from biomass projects.
That’s a big shift from the first half of the year (and, well, all of previous history). Herman writes: “By the end of the first half of the year, the ISO will have added 3,391 megawatts of nameplate capacity, of which 2,296 megawatts will be natural gas, 565 megawatts will be wind and 530 megawatts will be solar.” Here’s a chart for a visual display of these points and the situation in 2012:
Image Credit: California ISO
Image Credit: California ISO
Herman spent a lot of time discussing various factors related to natural gas in his post (I’d recommend checking it out). A few key points I’d pull out of it are as follows (images added):
new natural gas california
estimated revenue natural gas
natural gas california
  1. Natural gas prices seem to have gotten too low to warrant investment in new natural gas projects. From the report: “The 2012 net revenue estimates for hypothetical combined-cycle and combustion-turbine units continued to fall substantially below the estimates of the annualized fixed costs for these technologies. For a new combined-cycle unit, net operating revenues earned from the markets in 2012 are estimated to be about $38 per kilowatt-year in Southern California, compared to potential annualized fixed costs of $176 per kilowatt-year.” (See 3 charts above.)
  2. More periods like 2H 2013 to come — this is the future. V. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT), stated: “This is the shape of things to come.” Naturally, with solar hitting grid parity in parts of California, and combined with renewable energy targets, solar is set to keep growing at a fast clip.
  3. Clearly, there needs to be a little more balance than in 2H 2013. Technically, that could be achieved with a broad mix of renewables, demand response solutions, energy efficiency, energy storage, and/or natural gas technologies of the right kind. “What we want is a diverse renewables portfolio that includes solar PV, wind, geothermal and CSP with storage,” White said. “As time goes on, we need to smooth this out and include demand response, energy efficiency, storage, and even out-of-state resources.”
  4. Old natural gas technology not a good fit. Older/conventional natural gas plants take about 90 minutes to ramp up, which is not a good match for renewables. Furthermore, to warrant their cost, they have to run at 40% capacity, but they can’t compete with renewables on a merit order system. And as solar cuts off peak demand and cuts into peak pricing, the situation will get even more difficult.

Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/16/nearly-100-of-new-california-electricity-to-be-solar-in-2h-2013/#6KFvvFfqP0LIzwF1.99 
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