BMW i introduces home energy storage using i3 batteries

What happens when you take the battery out of a BMW i3 and put it into a grid-connected box? According to BMW, you get a home energy system that, "integrates seamlessly with charging stations and solar panels." It should also give i3 owners a bit more value out of theirused cars, if BMW ever explains how they can sell their cars or the batteries back to the company for use in a system like this. Announced at the EVS29 event in Montreal today, BMW's stationary energy storage system solution uses i3 batteries to store excess electricity when available for use in power outages or when demand is high. While the system uses new 22- or 33-kWh i3 packs now, it "can be expanded to incorporate 2nd

India, Needing Jobs, Eases Rules on Foreign Investment

NEW DELHI — The Indian government announced sweeping changes on Monday to throw open its economy to foreign investment, taking it a large step away from its socialist past. The long-awaited rules were rolled out just two days after the surprise resignation of the widely respected chairman of the central bank,Raghuram G. Rajan. They allow foreign investors to establish 100 percent ownership in companies involved in defense, civil aviation and food products, albeit with government approval. Foreign investors will also be permitted to buy up to 74 percent of Indian pharmaceutical companies without seeking government approval. The government also relaxed regulations that had made it difficult fo

Two revolutions set to transform India’s energy sector

Two revolutions are set to transform the energy sector in India: the 2015 tariff parity of solar with thermal energy, and affordable storage that could make solar a 24×7 service by 2020. The last few solar auctions in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan have testified the efficacy of the solar-thermal tariff parity. The power purchase price of under Rs 4.50 indicated that solar is ready to outpace other conventional energy systems in terms of cost far sooner than earlier anticipated. In 2003, solar panel rates hovered around the $4.50-a-watt mark, with the cost of entire installations going up to $10 a watt. A $1-a-watt target at that time was described as a distant dream. Ye

White House initiative targets 1.3 GW of energy storage

The Obama Administration yesterday announced a sweeping initiative aimed at growing energy storage, demand management and renewable energy resources, while investigating the best way to integrate those into an increasingly flexible power grid. The White House announced a series of executive actions and 33 state and private sector commitments expected to result in at least 1.3 GW of additional storage procurement or deployment in the next five years. More than a dozen developers and power companies in eight or more states have announced new storage procurement and deployment targets, totaling $130 million in new funding commitments. In total, the White House said new procurement, deployment,

Study: Falling cost of solar and wind could limit energy storage profitability

There is a window of opportunity now for combining energy storage with renewable energy projects such as wind and solar farms, but could close if wind and solar costs fall further, according to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The study finds that at today’s prices storage systems make economic sense in some locations, but not yet in others. The demonstrates how to evaluate storage technology choices, including batteries, pumped hydroelectric storage, and compressed air energy storage. Combining energy storage with renewable resources, especially solar panels, has been touted an inevitable combination or as an alternative to the elimination of incentives such

Johnson Controls to invest $245 million in North American battery plant expansion

Johnson Controls Inc. will invest $245 million in six new battery production lines in the U.S. and Mexico between 2016 and 2020. The Glendale-based multi-industrial company announced it will make the investments to increase its capacity to produce absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries that are used in start-stop vehicle systems, and which also provide more power for the growing electricity needs of modern vehicles. "Due to increasing power needs for vehicle accessories and safety functions, along with changing environmental standards, automotive batteries play an increasingly important role in today’s vehicles,” said Joe Walicki, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions. Once all of the n

Exiting the Month of May Ocean Freight Market is Overall on the Up

May came to a close and here is Xeneta's wrap up of last month's spot market and long-term ocean frieght rates for the Far East Asia Main Ports to North Europe and to U.S West Coast Main ports. May sees some declines, but overall the market is picking up as we enter Q3. A good question to ask is whether it is wise for shippers to bathe in the current low prices and risk what can happen to their cargo when the rates continue to increase. full article found on

World Starts to Turn From Coal as Cheap Oil Gains Market

Global coal consumption dropped the most on record last year as the U.S. and other major economies started turning away from the most polluting fossil fuel, according to BP Plc’s annual review of energy trends. As the world begins to tackle the goals of last year’s Paris climate agreement, news of coal’s retreat was tempered by the fact that oil increased its share of energy consumption as low prices spurred demand in both industrialized and developing countries. “Oil grew exceptionally strong because when price falls, demand increases,” Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, said in London as the company presented its Statistical Review. “The big casualty last year was coal. We are seeing a sh

One Expert's View On The Near-Term Future Of Energy Storage

"I spend a good deal of time at energy storage conferences, trying to figure out where the various technologies and business models are headed. I thought I had most of the nuances figured out - until I ran into Sam Jaffe at the Energy Storage America conference in Charlotte in April. After a brief discussion, I realized I had some more understanding to do, and was able to arrange a follow-up conversation. I first met Jaffe when he was active at Navigant Research as their main energy storage analyst, and he has since moved on to become Managing Director at Cairn Energy Research Advisors (Cairn ERA). Jaffe’s spent more than 10 years in energy storage as an analyst, consultant, entrepreneur and

New York has a Plan to make Offshore Wind Cheaper

New York State is mounting a broad effort to reduce the cost of building a wind farm off the coast of Long Island, an ambitious push to generate clean power in U.S. waters. The state’s Energy Research and Development Authority plans to bid for a federal leaseto develop a 81,000-acre (127-square-mile) site in the Atlantic Ocean. If it wins, New York would undertake initial site studies and pursue an agreement to sell the electricity. The state would then hold an auction of its own, selling development rights to the highest bidder. New York officials see offshore wind as critical for meeting the state’s goal to get half its power from renewable sources by 2030. By doing the initial planning an

Startup to deliver energy storage by truck, rail, barge

Getting extra power to where it's needed is a tricky business, often requiring millions of dollars in investments. Now a solar-industry veteran has proposed a cheaper alternative: juice stored in batteries that are delivered by truck, rail or barge. Shihab Kuran, who founded Petra Systems Inc. and also worked at NRG Energy Inc. and SunEdison Inc., has now formed Power Edison, which offers grid-scale lithium-ion battery systems encased in specialized shipping containers that can be stacked like Legos. The Green Brook, N.J.-based company was formed in March and formally announced Thursday. The units would let utilities dispatch storage systems to match shifting demand and defer costly upgrades

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