BNEF: Unsubsidized wind, solar are now the cheapest bulk generation sources

first_imgBNEF: Unsubsidized wind, solar are now the cheapest bulk generation sources FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Windpower Engineering & Development:Falling technology costs means unsubsidized solar and/or onshore wind are now the cheapest source of new bulk power in all major economies except Japan, according to BloombergNEF‘s (BNEF) new 2H 2018 LCOE report. The report assesses the cost competitiveness of different power generating and energy storage technologies globally (excluding subsidies).Every half year, BNEF runs its Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) analysis, a worldwide assessment of the cost competitiveness of different power generating and energy storage technologies – excluding subsidies.These are the key, high-level results:Solar and/or wind are now the cheapest new source of generation in all major economies, except Japan. This includes China and India, where not long ago coal was king. In India, best-in-class solar and wind plants are now half the cost of new coal plants.The benchmark global levelized cost for onshore wind sits at $52/MWh, down 6% from our 1H 2018 analysis. This is on the back of cheaper turbines and a stronger U.S. dollar. Onshore wind is now as cheap as $27/MWh in India and Texas, without subsidy.In most locations in the U.S. today, wind outcompetes combined-cycle gas plants (CCGT) supplied by cheap shale gas as a source of new bulk generation. If the gas price rises above $3/MMBtu, our analysis suggests that new and existing CCGT are going to run the risk of becoming rapidly undercut by new solar and wind. This means fewer run-hours and a stronger case for flexible technologies such as gas peaker plants and batteries that do well at lower utilization (capacity factor).Short-duration batteries are today the cheapest source of new fast-response and peaking capacity in all major economies except the U.S., where cheap gas gives peaker gas plants an edge. As electric vehicle manufacturing ramps-up, battery costs are set to drop another 66% by 2030, according to our analysis. This, in turn, means cheaper battery storage for the power sector, lowering the cost of peak power and flexible capacity to levels never reached before by conventional fossil-fuel peaking plants.Batteries co-located with PV or wind are becoming more common. Our analysis suggests that new-build solar and wind paired with four-hour battery storage systems can already be cost competitive, without subsidy, as a source of dispatchable generation compared with new coal and new gas plants in Australia and India.More: Onshore wind & solar lead as cheapest source of new bulk power, finds BNEFlast_img read more

Tracking Three Tropical Waves in the Tropics

first_imgMIAMI — The WPTV First Alert Weather Team is monitoring three areas of interest in the tropics on Wednesday.A tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean Sea is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms, along with gusty winds.The National Hurricane Center is giving this wave a 40% chance of development over two days, and an 80% chance of development over five days.According to WPTV First Alert Meteorologist James Wieland, the forecast models take this into the Gulf of Mexico without impacting our weather.WAVE IN ATLANTIC OCEANA wave located roughly 1,000 miles east of the Windward Islands is forecast to develop into a tropical depression on Wednesday or Thursday.Wieland said most models bring this system toward South Florida by next Monday, however, the strength of the system is unknown at this time.WAVE OFF AFRICAA large area of showers and thunderstorms, located over Guinea and Sierra-Leone, Africa, has been given a 20% chance of development over the next five days.According to the NHC, environmental conditions are expected to be marginally conducive for some development of this system while the wave enters the extreme eastern Atlantic on Friday.By early next week, however, conditions are forecast to become less favorable for tropical cyclone formation.last_img read more

BICEP2 paper published—with big caveat

first_imgWhat was supposedly the biggest discovery in cosmology in a decade has finally been published, even as a cloud of doubt enshrouds the result. In March, researchers working with BICEP2, a specialized telescope at the South Pole, reported at a press conference that they had seen pinwheel-like swirls in the polarization of the afterglow of the big bang—the cosmic microwave background (CMB)—that came from gravitational waves rippling through the infant universe. Those B modes were “the first direct evidence” that the newborn universe underwent a bizarre exponential growth spurt called inflation, at least according to a press release issued by the BICEP2 team. However, other researchers soon pointed out that the signal might emanate instead from dust within our galaxy. Now, the BICEP2 paper has been published in Physical Review Letters. And in the abstract to the final version, the team writes that its models of galactic dust “are not sufficiently constrained by external public data to exclude the possibility of dust emission bright enough to explain the entire excess signal.” Although stark, that statement isn’t entirely surprising. Previously, the BICEP team had acknowledged that they couldn’t quantify how much of the signal was really from the CMB.last_img read more