Hyundai to Leapfrog Tesla With World's Largest Battery
When it goes live in three months, Hyundai's 150-megawatt system will overtake Tesla's 100-megawatt facility in South Australia as the world's largest industrial energy storage system, Independent.ie reported. Sorry, Elon Musk.
It's an exciting—albeit geeky—race to help the planet wean off environmentally harmful fossil fuels. That's because if we want to accelerate the world's renewable energy transition, we'll have to modernize the energy grid and much of that depends on energy storage technology.
Tesla famously built its ginormous battery within 100 days after Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes dared Musk to help fix the South Australian's electricity woes. The system, which is connected to Neoen's Hornsdale wind farm, has exceeded expectations after switching on about a year ago. The lightning-fast system has saved about $40 million in grid stabilization costs, prevented blackouts and helped restore confidence in the state's energy resources, the Australian Financial Review noted.
Hyundai's $45 million battery is being built for the metal smelting company KoreaZinc, which intends to be energy self-sufficient and wants to reduce electricity costs, according to Climate Action. The company estimates it will save almost $60 million in electricity expenses over the next three years once the facility is built. KoreaZinc is also complying with the South Korean government's larger efforts to boost renewables and mitigate air pollution, the publication added.
These large-scale projects are enabled by less expensive battery prices, with prices dropping by almost half since 2014, according to Bloomberg.
Other entrepreneurs are joining in the big battery race, including billionaire Sanjeev Gupta's SIMEC ZEN Energy, which plans to build a 120-megawatt battery near Adelaide. Tesla is also vying to build another giant Powerpack system in Colorado for Xcel Energy Inc., an electric utility operating in eight Western and Midwestern states.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) estimated that developers announced 1,650 megawatts per hour of new lithium-ion battery projects in 2017, four times the amount for all of 2016.
"Musk has set a benchmark on how quickly you can install and commission a battery of this size," Ali Asghar, a BNEF senior associate, said in a Bloomberg interview.
Falling costs are "making them a compelling mainstream option for energy-storage applications in many areas around the world, and projects even bigger than Tesla's are now under construction."
The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.
By Shana Udvardy
After a dearth of action on climate change and a record year of extreme events in 2017, the inclusion of climate change policies within the annual legislation Congress considers to outline its defense spending priorities (the National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2018 was welcome progress. House and Senate leaders pushed to include language that mandated that the Department of Defense (DoD) incorporate climate change in their facility planning (see more on what this section of the bill does here and here) as well as issue a report on the impacts of climate change on military installations. Unfortunately, what DoD produced fell far short of what was mandated.
Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.
Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.