Renewable energy has been growing at breakneck speed. By 2023, through the International Energy Agency, the world can add over 1 terawatt (1,000 gigawatts) of renewable energy generation — a mostly 500th rise in global renewable capacity. That’s over three times the total generating capacity of Japan, the world’s third-largest economy.
To be honest, renewables could grow even faster. Unlike more conventional sources of power generation, they reply on the weather: The sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. Nevertheless, what if you could store megawatts of power from a windy and sunny Sunday and release it on dreary Monday morning as factories ramp up and staff turn on the lights? Add in smart software that acts as a police officer — redirecting solar and wind power as needed into the grid or big batteries — and it would be a big step toward creating renewables available on demand. That’s the idea behind a new GE business referred to as Renewable Hybrids.
The unit, a part of GE Renewable Energy, works with utilities and developers to form hybrid power networks, which combine renewable sources, efficient energy storage and software systems to form a more predictable source of renewable electrons.
Mike Bowman, chief technology officer of GE’s Renewable Hybrids business says that Hybrid is that the next frontier in renewables, it's a paradigm change driven by technology development and market development.
GE’s Renewable Hybrids links the company’s storage systems — like the Reservoir battery, which may store as much as 4,184-kilowatt-hours, enough to power 145 U.S. homes for a day — to the wind and solar technology and the electrical grids they feed into.
The dramatic drop in the price of energy storage is creating hybrid systems a winning business proposition for buyers. “You can take relatively free electricity from the middle of the day and sell it at a premium at night,” says Tom Cuthbert, executive engineering leader at Renewable Hybrids. “If every generating asset has some form of storage with it, it’s going to change the market.”
At the same time, battery technology continues to enhance, which means the outlook for renewable hybrids is bright.
“You’re going to begin seeing extending the duration of battery life,” Cuthbert says. “Today four hours is the longest length of battery storage. You’ll see that extended out more and more, as well as see new battery technologies come in.”
However, batteries are only 1 a part of the search for foreseeable renewable power. Another avenue involves co-locating wind and star farms at an equivalent web site. (GE is functioning on such comes in the Asian country, for instance, and in North Star State).
That’s as a result of wind and star already tend to be complementary; wind happens to blow a lot of at nighttime once the sun graces a unique a part of the world. Pairing wind and star with storage not solely permit operators to appreciate synergies within the capital and in operation prices required to dispatch electricity to customers, however additionally increase their sure thing and “dispatchability,” because the business calls it.
However, the sky isn't the limit. Hybrid arrangements are often used with any combination of power sources.
GE’s Renewable Hybrids business has already signed one or two of deals for hybrid comes. In Apr Helios Energy ordered 2 energy storage systems for its star arrays in central the big apple state, and simply last week Australia’s solar river Project declared it had selected GE to provide its Reservoir battery technology for a planned 200-megawatt photovoltaic array.
One market researcher is projecting that hybrid clean energy installations in the U.S. will be at least double in 5 years to 1 GW, enough to power around 700,000 U.S. homes. Longer-term, the energy storage market itself ought to see over $100 billion in projects by 2030.
Bowman additionally states that GE is positioned to create a huge impact and be a leader in the space. They’ve got the proper horsepower, the right people, the capabilities, the connections, and the brand. They’re excited about it.