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'In the future, people will have a choice'

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Nevelyn Black's picture
Writer, Independent

Nevelyn Black is an independent writer with a background in broadcast and a keen interest in renewable energy.  In the last few years, she transitioned from celebrity interviews and film shoots...

  • Member since 2017
  • 915 items added with 527,596 views
  • Mar 15, 2023

“You can’t really rely on people over time to adjust their habits for small bill savings,” says Mike O’Boyle, at Energy Innovation, a nonpartisan climate think tank.  According to an article in Psychology Today by Key Sun Ph.D., ‘one of the psychological mechanisms shaping individuals’ decision-making and various intentional actions, the operation of motivation depends upon and is restricted by one’s cognitive understanding of evolving reality.’

“People need technology that manages it for them,” O’Boyle said about energy management.  Apple introduced new technology that shifts phone charging to the most optimal time periods.   If adopted more mainstream, the costs of electricity prices could fall 10 to 17 percent.  Balancing supply and demand on the grid, is becoming increasingly difficult.  Grid operators in California are combating the duck curve.  In the morning, the sun hits millions of solar panels and in the evening, solar power decreases and utilities must find new supplies.  Energy storage has been labeled the superhero that saves the day concerning the issue of intermittent energy production.  Eager to pair storage with renewables, the utility-scale storage sector in the United States has had tremendous growth over the last two years. Installed storage capacity in the United States more than tripled in 2021 and despite minerals for batteries are becoming scarce.  Russia is the world’s largest producer of battery-grade class-1 nickel, accounting for approximately 20% of global supply, and is the second and fourth largest producer in the world of cobalt and graphite, respectively. The Ukraine conflict and sanctions on Russia have negatively impacted supply chains and solar-plus-storage development.  Last April, CAISO reports that a record 596,175 MWh was curtailed. That’s the equivalent of producing an entire extra days’ worth of electricity and then throwing it away.   

Sunnova Energy International announced a partnership with David Energy, to deploy a virtual power plant (VPP) service called Adaptive Retail in Texas.  “Our Adaptive Retail plan represents a significant departure from the traditional centralized power generation model, putting more control and flexibility in the hands of our customers,” said William (John) Berger, chief executive officer of Sunnova.   

“In the future, people will have a choice,” says Mary Ann Piette, a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Until then, how are utilities using energy-plus-storage and demand-side-management?  

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Mar 15, 2023

This will require a pretty significant state of mind shift on the customer side, but I think they'd be up for it and early success of time of use and demand response show that it can be successful. 

Nevelyn Black's picture
Thank Nevelyn for the Post!
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