The Energy Technology Roadmap

Last week the Coalition formally announced that the leadership has given up on coal and capitulated to the RE lobbies. The idea is to use gas to fill the gaps in supply as the coal stations close and RE takes over. At the same time storage capacity has to be enhanced to get over the awkward moments when there is no contribution from the wind and the sun.

Innovative technologies are the keys to this exercise in squaring the circle and after long deliberation  the government nominated  five elements in the plan, the winners in the Technology Roadmap Lotto as I think of them.

Generous quantities of money will be handed out to support initiatives in those areas and many organizations and their staff will do very well. We look forward to regular announcements of spectacular progress, or at least possible breakthroughs on all these fronts.

The cost and capacity of batteries.

The cost of batteries coming down is the second major bet placed by government in the technology road map.

Where is the evidence that significant advances are being achieved in the cost and capacity of batteries?  Are they still betting on Moore’s law, the idea that capacity will double every couple of years as it has done for data storage? The size of the battery at  Hornsdale wind farm in SA has been doubled (correction, increased by 50%), is there any evidence that the cost of the second stage was cheaper than the first?

In November 2019, Neoen announced that it would increase the battery capacity by 50%. The expansion would cost A$71 million, funded by A$15 million from the state government, A$8 million from ARENA and up to A$50 million in cheap loans through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.[19][6]

I have seen figures up to $90 million for the first 109MWh so if it cost $71 million to get 50% more I don’t see any reduction in the cost of storage. How cheap is the money we are lending them via the Clean Energy Finance Corporation?

 

This entry was posted in Electric Power and Energy, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to The Energy Technology Roadmap

  1. Roger

    Generous quantities of money will be handed out to support initiatives in those areas and many organizations and their staff will do very well.

    Is there any money left after the covid-19 response package?

    As for government picking winners, I thought we’d left that behind in the 1980s.

  2. Pyrmonter

    Generous quantities of money will be handed out to support initiatives in those areas and many organizations and their staff will do very well. We look forward to regular announcements of spectacular progress, or at least possible breakthroughs on all these fronts.

    Which, of course, is the price paid for using ‘command and control’ regulatory devices rather than the tried and tested approach of pricing and letting markets sort out production and consumption. This is a bed the anti-climate change policy advocates have made; it is now the lot of the rest of us to lie upon it.

  3. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    They forgot (green) pixie dust and (clean) unicorn farts.

  4. Karabar

    Advance Australia WOKE!
    Have we become a nation of stooges led by morons and Shysters?
    Did we vote for this? Could Shortarse, Bonehead, and the Butler be any worse?

  5. There can only be light after darkness. How long the darkness lasts is another thing.

    Get your gas BBQs, cookers, LED lights, generators etc ready, as you’ll likely need these down the track.

  6. stevem

    The battery cost seems outrageous – its 3 times the current grossly inflated price.
    To give an example of how far battery technology needs to progress the Tesla Powerwall currently comes in at a little over $1,000,000 per MWh of capacity ($14,000 for 13.5 kWh).
    To reach $100 per Mwh, they’d need to come with free disposal at end of life, triple their lifespan (currently 3200 cycles) with no loss of capacity over their life , zero transmission cost or loss, no operating cost or profit and free charging.
    So many unachievable assumptions just to keep our power bills down to triple what they currently are and more expensive than even nuclear.

  7. Miltonf

    Doesn’t matter who you vote for. The pubic serpents give it to you anyway. Nevertheless, Commonwealth and state finances must be totally shattered. So how much longer can the destruction of the real ecomy go on?

  8. Simple Simon

    And now the end is near,
    And Australians face the Venezuelan curtain,
    My friend, I’ll say it clear,
    I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

    Regrets, Australians will have a few,
    And not at all too few to mention.

    Yes, there were times I’m sure they knew,
    That things were more than a bit askew,
    But through it all while there still was doubt,
    They sucked it up, not spat it out,
    They faced it all,
    By standing small,
    And did it their way.

    And now, as tears subside,
    Their leaders find it all amusing,
    To think they got away with all that,
    And may I say, not in a shy way,

    The record shows Aussies took the blows,
    And lost paradise their way.

    “Venezuelans evolved to always hope that our government would be non-tyrannical, non-violator of human rights…”

    — Javier Vanegas, a Venezuelan teacher of English exiled in Ecuador

  9. Jock

    Read somewhere that Tesla is working on a new battery system which will extend life. Not sure about energy intensity. They have been coy about it. Tesla tend to promise then under deliver but that doesnt stop the investors.

  10. Howard Hill

    So how much longer can the destruction of the real ecomy go on?

    As long as people keep doubling down and working harder for the government they love.

    Australia, where the more shit the government piles on the people the more the people enjoy the smell.

  11. miltonf

    As long as people keep doubling down and working harder for the government they love.

    Australia, where the more shit the government piles on the people the more the people enjoy the smell.

    Rubbish. People voted against this destruction in 2014 and 2018 (sorta) and got it anyway.

  12. RobK

    Innovative technologies are the keys to this exercise in squaring the circle and after long deliberation the government nominated five elements in the plan,…..
    Good grief. If the RET is killed today, we will still be paying the leaches until 2030. The RET is parasitic on coal. We’ve stumbled along to now on the fat of last generations capex in reliable power generation.
    I don’t think we can afford to gamble on these things that might be, one day. (Mostly unlikely)
    Follow China’s lead and incorporate a new cycle of baseload before you hock the future on low density energy. Time is running out.

  13. RobK

    Australia is in for a rude shock, Venezuelan style.

  14. miltonf

    John Howard started the RET. He gave us Michael Trumble who sold us out to Paris. John Howard was not the Menzies of the 90s. Menzies did some silly things too btw (Canbra, Unis, Conscription) but Howard’s legacy is social and economic ruin.

  15. Howard Hill

    Rubbish. People voted against this destruction in 2014 and 2018 (sorta) and got it anyway.

    As I look out over my balcony I see plains and plains of toxic silicon panels nearing their use by date.
    Australians will vote for whoever will replace them the cheapest!

  16. Bruce of Newcastle

    Five mythical things! I am impressed!

    Hydrogen is stupid because it has terrible physical properties. Even as a replacement for natural gas it’s stupid, since it can diffuse through many materials that methane can’t. So losses from a pipeline network would be horrendous. And as a fuel for vehicles…a bomb in every driveway. ASIO would have a meltdown trying to stop terrorists, or even ATM bombers.

    The problem with batteries is they aren’t synchronous, and they only last about 8 years. Every 8 years you have to replace them, same as your car battery. So you aren’t paying $100/MWh of capacity – you are actually effectively paying $625/MWh of capacity compared with coal fired power stations with lifetimes of 50 years.

    CO2 compression and storage is nuts because gases under pressure easily escape. So pump it down a hole and it’ll find a way back to the surface through rock fractures and faultlines. Whereupon you’ve wasted that whole effort since the CO2 will be back in the atmosphere.

    Green steel and aluminium are crazy. Anyone who tries to do that will go bankrupt because the Chinese, who don’t give a fig about global warming (since they know it isn’t happening much in the real world, and don’t care anyway, as we’ve been seeing with the Covid-19 thing) will undercut any “green” manufacturers. So all you are doing is closing down what little Australian industry that is left.

    And soil carbon is totally stupid. As soon as a bushfire goes through most of that stored carbon is no longer going to be stored. It will be CO2 in the atmosphere.

    These people need their brains replaced.

  17. NoFixedAddress

    For 24 years I’ve been living next door to Free Energy from wind and solar.

    But all I got was Rip-off Environmentalists.

    Where’s the free electricity you bullshitting thieving bastards?

  18. Howard Hill

    I’ve never understood the whole hydrogen thing.
    It’s like pushing your billy-cart up the hill past the shop to roll back down to the shop to buy an ice cream.
    Loony tunes!

  19. Bruce of Newcastle

    I’ve never understood the whole hydrogen thing.

    Yes. If they were for real they would combine #1 with #3.

    Convert the hydrogen to methanol using the CO2.
    3H2 + CO2 –> CH3OH + H2O
    Takes one step with a catalyst. Methanol is easy to handle, doesn’t have to be compressed, isn’t any more dangerous than petrol and is actually fairly economic. Much more so than trying to liquefy hydrogen, or turning it into ammonia or the other silly ideas the greens have been proposing.

    Then you use the methanol in everything from generators, electricity turbines, ordinary cars (with slight modification) and you ship the stuff around using the same pipelines and tankers we’re now using.

    It makes total sense compared to trying to do stuff with hydrogen.

  20. Howard Hill

    But Bruce. Where does the hydrogen come from? It’s not found naturally.

    All that bullshit just to make moonshine.
    Why are we even trying to come up with stupid ways of doing stupid things?

    Improved nuclear technology is the only real solution and then use that to create liquid fuels where they are needed.
    Until then, none of us are going to die from burning a few dead dinosaurs.

  21. Bruce of Newcastle

    But Bruce. Where does the hydrogen come from? It’s not found naturally.

    Nukes.

  22. Bruce of Newcastle

    Oops, did I just say a bad word?
    Naughty me.
    The second biggest uranium mine in Australia was stopped because of a microscopic subterranean land prawn. We are so rooted it’s not funny.

  23. Howard Hill

    Really, the answer is used mattresses.
    I’ve probably got a lifetime supply of them in a 5km radius just lying on the nature strip.
    There must be a way to compress them all and then use all that compressed energy to drive a generator and then use the power to make hydrogen and then capture the co2 from the energy used to compress them in the first place to reform the co2 and hydrogen into moonshine.
    I mean these mattresses just pop up out of the ground anywhere there’s a nature strip by the thousands daily.

    Mattresses I tell ya!

  24. RobK

    Hydrocarbons will always be the best battery. The best place to store energy.
    I agree. Hang the H off a carbon chain and away you go.

  25. Hasbeen

    None of the Li Po batteries I have for the grand kids Remote Control aircraft have lasted past 4 years.

    Currently the ones I am replacing after 3 or 4 years of careful usage cost me $8 each. The replacements are at least $18, & some are up to $24.

    I can’t quite see any reduction in price there.

Comments are closed.