Genesis Morocco: How Electric Car Batteries Could Solve the Renewable Energy Storage Puzzle

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Genesis Morocco

Project Genesis is a strategic sustainable development framework for Morocco to translate from being a net importer of energy and a country facing water shortage issues, into the number one producer both of clean renewable energy and water in the region.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012    <<Home

How Electric Car Batteries Could Solve the Renewable Energy Storage Puzzle

Personal Notes : Distributed storage, same as distributed capacity is key for renewable energy. It serves both the purpose of resilience and efficiency. There are losses and associated costs when you consume energy that is produced or stored elsewhere. Turning our cars into decentralized storage units, that can contribute to the grid when not in use makes a lot of sense. 

On the mitigating side, electric or hybrid cars are still far from being affordable for all, but it is bound to change as the technology matures and becomes mass marketable. It does entail also that the infrastructure to service them is built, that too is still very costly to do. 

Electric Vehicles Enable More Local Clean Energy
By John Farrell

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's New Rules Project.

The U.S. Northwest could get an additional 12 percent of its electricity from local wind power if 1 in 8 of the region's cars used batteries.

That's the conclusion of a new study from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories investigating how electric vehicles can help smooth the introduction of more variable renewable energy into the grid system.

The study examines the Northwest Power Pool, an area encompassing roughly seven states in the Northwest. With around 2.1 million electrified vehicles, the grid could support an additional 10 gigawatts (GW) of wind power. With electricity demand from those seven states of about 250 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, the additional 10 GW of wind would provide 12 percent of the annual electricity demand (roughly 30 billion kWh per year).

The results are no doubt applicable to other regions of the country. In fact, at least 33 states have enough wind power to meet 10 percent or more of their electricity needs and if the same portion of vehicles (13 percent) were electrified in those 33 states, it would allow them to add a collective 100 gigawatts of wind power, meeting nearly 14 percent of their electricity needs.

In the long-run, a fully electrified vehicle fleet would theoretically — just do the math! — provide enough balancing power for a 100 percent renewable electricity system. And since the large majority of those vehicle trips would be made on batteries alone, it would be a significant dent in American reliance on foreign oil for transportation.

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Oct. 24, 2011, 1:44 p.m. EDT
Electric Vehicle Battery Market to Reach $14.6 Billion in Revenues by 2017, According to Pike Research

BOULDER, Colo., Oct 24, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Over the past few years, the automotive industry has increased its focus on the electric vehicle (EV) battery market by successfully introducing several new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as the process of moving away from petroleum-based fuels and toward battery power intensifies. These vehicles will rely almost exclusively on lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries, while hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) will slowly switch from nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) technology. According to a new report from Pike Research, the combined market for Li-ion batteries in HEVs, PHEVs, and BEVs will soar over the next several years, increasing from $2.0 billion worldwide in 2011 to more than $14.6 billion by 2017. The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that capacity shipments of Li-ion batteries for the transportation market will increase from 2.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) to nearly 28.0 million kWh during the same period.

"The government subsidies that gave the initial impetus to the electric vehicle market will continue to drive the market in the near term," says research director John Gartner. "However, significant reductions in battery cost are imperative for the industry to grow to its target levels. While the cost of lithium ion batteries is gradually declining, cost still represents a significant hurdle as it accounts for a large portion of total EV cost."

Gartner adds that there are currently more than half a dozen battery chemistries with unique properties for power, energy density, and life cycle performance that are being commercialized. While Pike Research believes that there is no single chemistry that will emerge as the clear winner, owing to the tradeoffs in their various properties, initial indications point to a greater interest in the lithium iron phosphate chemistry in the years to come due to its superior performance characteristics coupled with increased safety.

Pike Research's analysis indicates that nearly half the demand for Li-ion transportation batteries is likely to come from Asia, led primarily by China, while Europe and the United States are likely to constitute 25% and 21% shares of the world market, respectively.

Pike Research's study focuses on the critical role that governments around the globe will play in establishing the electric vehicle market, and the challenges that manufacturers face in creating an industry that will be able to stand on its own as government influence diminishes. The study examines the key market drivers for the electrification of vehicles, the status of R&D in batteries, the impact of declining battery production costs on vehicle sales, and the resale of batteries after their useful life in vehicles. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm's website.

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