Electrification of transportation sector - More Renewable Energy Needed

Adoption of electric vehicles is now rapidly increasing due to long-term cost savings, tax incentives, declining battery costs, and environmental awareness. Charging the batteries will be a challenge for utilities, but if the charges can be made grid-interactive (capable of sending battery energy back to the utility if needed to meet peak needs), This could develop into benefits for all.

See the Renewable Energy World article: https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/2020/07/01/electrification-of-transportation-sector-nears-tipping-point/

Plunging cost of wind and solar marks turning point in energy transition: IRENA

LONDON (Reuters) - Plunging costs of renewables mark a turning point in a global transition to low-carbon energy, with new solar or wind farms increasingly cheaper to build than running existing coal plants, according to a report published on Tuesday.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said the attractive prices of renewables relative to fossil fuel power generation could help governments embrace green economic recoveries from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the full article at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-energy-renewables-costs/plunging-cost-of-wind-and-solar-marks-turning-point-in-energy-transition-irena-idUSKBN2390I8

Benchmarking Utility-Scale PV Operational Expenses and Project Lifetimes

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has published an interesting paper based on a survey of solar industry professionals and other sources to clarify trends in the expected useful life and operational expenditure (OpEx) of utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) plants in the United States.

Solar project developers, sponsors, long-term owners, and consultants have increased project-life assumptions over time, from an average of ~21.5 years in 2007 to ~32.5 years in 2019. Current assumptions range from 25 years to more than 35 years depending on the organization; 17 out of 19 organizations surveyed or reviewed use 30 years or more.

Levelized, lifetime OpEx estimates have declined from an average of ~$35/kWDC-yr for projects built in 2007 to an average of ~$17/kWDC-yr in 2019. Across 13 sources, the range in average lifetime OpEx for projects built in 2019 is broad, from $13 to $25/kWDC-yr. Operations and maintenance (O&M) costs—one component of OpEx—have declined precipitously in recent years, to $5-8/kWDC-yr in many cases. Property taxes and land lease costs are highly variable across sites, but on average are—together—of similar magnitude. Other OpEx line items include security, insurance, and asset management.

The paper is available at: https://eta-publications.lbl.gov/sites/default/files/solar_life_and_opex_report.pdf