The energy transition.

The global energy transition is rapidly accelerating. This transition is inevitable because of cost, rapid improvements in technology and structural change to the global economy. Subscribe to my dedicated Energy Transition Twitter List for knowledge, dialogue, startups. The following is a reference for myself as much as for anyone else.

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Gravity & energy storage

Imagine say a 4,000 litre water tank raised by perhaps 3 meters as a potential energy storage device for your home. How much potential energy could it store?
Let's do the maths.

An energy transition forecast

An energy transition scenario in plain english form that anyone can understand thanks to Simon Holmes A Court.

I think we will see almost 50% renewable energy in 2030 and perhaps 95% in 2050.

We'll reach a point where we significantly over-generate energy very often. The excess will be used to pump water in pumped hydro projects, charge batteries, produce hydrogen and some just thrown away ("curtailed").

From here on it's pretty simple: old coal fired power stations close down, gas fills the void immediately and renewables push the gas out to times when there's no wind, solar or other storage. Batteries and pumped hydro eventually push out the gas.

Check out the data in Simon's OpenNEM project.

Australia exporting energy to Asia

Singapore currently generates 95% of its electricity from LNG which expsoses it to price and supply risk. Sun Cable plans to generate solar in the NT and use a high-voltage DC cable to supply up to 20% of this. If this sounds unlikely, they aren't the only ones. The Asian Renewable Energy Hub will generate up to 15,000 MW of wind & solar energy in WA, supplying heavy industrial users and exporting the rest to Indonesia.

Implications of a battery boom

If you start with the hypothosis that there will be a rapid global transition to EV's over the next decade, demand for li-ion batteries could increase by 6,700% by 2030, which the Chinese have already anticipated as they are building vast battery factories all over the country. Demand for Lithium, Nickle and Cobalt, are essential for this to occur and Australia could (should) be really well positioned to benefit through its expertise in both mining and the global supply chain.

Understanding China's EV market

Fascinating video on how the Chinese government has facilitated the rapid transition to EV's through smart policy (2019). Also a video Tesla's Quest for better batteries by Real Engineering

Peak energy and the rise of renewables

"For every single country and region, the cheapest source of new power-generation capacity is a renewable source. It’s either solar or wind, depending on the market. By 2030 it'll be cheaper to build new renewable generation capacity than it is to use the existing coal- or gas-based generation capacity. That’s an obvious turning point."

2019 Quote from those known left wing fanatics at McKinsey & Company.

Rooftop solar for your home

Getting solar PV for your home is a disgracefully unpleasant experience but since it's a guaranteed way to save you money the good solar guide is a good place to start.

If anyone tries to sell you a battery to go with it, do the maths first. If you're really intent on adding a battery, a smaller battery may be better or download the Solar Battery Guide (PDF) by Reposit Power.

Australia's Energy Roadmaps

Australia has a wealth of energy expertise in Government, Universities and business and know what needs to be done.

  • AEMO, the energy market regulator, is a pretty good place to start. They update their Integrated System Plan annually and have a fascinating map of Australia's Energy Network
  • Beyond Zero is an independent organisation that makes a compelling argument that as Australia’s fossil energy exports decline as the world decarbonises, Australia has the opportunity to be an Energy Superpower because we naturally possess one of the best renewable energy resources in the world.
  • The Australian Energy Resources Assessment by Geoscience Australia is a useful source of data on the types of energy available to Australia.

100% renewable

The world has to decarbonise and fast. It is worth asking if it's actually possible to transition to 100% renewable energy, but that might be the wrong goal, as this excellent presentation by Jesse Jenkins PhD demonstrates.

Australian Energy Data

Facts matter. So discover what's actually going on through data and authority.