Showing posts from August, 2017

Elon Musk and the Huge Lithium Battery in South Australia

South Australia, the Australian state that relies heavily on wind energy to supply the power grid, faced a number of blackouts following variations in wind speed that makes energy generation inconsistent. Grid operators said that having a 100-megawatt battery could store enough energy to alleviate most of the problems with inconsistent energy generation rates. The battery should be able to sustain 100 megawatts of power and store 129 megawatt hours, enough to power 30,000 homes. In addition to being a backup in case of inconsistent energy supply, the battery will also help reduce the cost of electricity for consumers. The battery can be charged when there is excess power when cost of production is much lower, and then distribute that energy from the battery when there is less energy available and costs are higher. Elon Musk won a bid , beating 91 other international contestants , to produce this battery, famously stating that he would built it 100 days or else the battery wou

Renewable Energy and the Electricity Grid

Solar and wind energy is becoming less and less expensive and more and more states are demanding to be powered by renewable energy. California, a leader in renewable energy usage, has a goal of operating on 33% renewable energy by 2020 , and they will likely achieve the goal in time. Integrating renewables into the electricity grid is an important step towards sustainability. In order for the US to fully benefit from all of the energy sources that are available to it, they need to address the challenges associated with adding renewables to the grid. One of the biggest challenges with renewables powering the grid is their unreliability. The grid was built on the idea that it would be powered by fossil fuels, requiring predictable, on demand energy generation. With solar and wind power, this isn't the case. When the sun goes down or the wind stops, there is no more electricity being produced. The grid operator no longer has the option to turn the electricity generator on or off.

Summer is here and Texas is hot!

Ice creams are melting, air conditioners are running, and electricity bills are soaring. Last Friday was Texas' hottest day in July and it almost broke the electricity grid . The state nearly broke the record of energy use on Thursday as people continue to blast air conditioning in their homes and offices in an effort to beat the heat. And that means people have electricity bills that are more expensive than normal.  Compared to the other 50 states, Texas ranks 42nd in average retail price of electricity , meaning it has some of the cheapest electricity available in the states. Why is that? Probably because of customer's ability to choose their electricity provider . Consumers can be helped by companies like Wattbuy to choose the best electricity plans for them -- allowing customers to choose if they want the cheapest plan, or the plan that is powered by the most renewables. Texas hasn't faced the worst yet as August is typically it's warmest month . With

Will switching to a Tesla Model 3 save you money?

The short answer: yes. If we assume you will drive 50 miles per week with a car that goes 23 miles per gallon, then you will go through 8.7 gallons of gas per month. In Houston TX, you will pay $18.3 per month in gas. In New York City, NY, you will pay $22.4 per month in gas. If you were to switch to the new Tesla Model 3 the amount of money you would need to spend on the additional electricity required to charge it would be less than the amount of money you pay for gas currently. In Houston, you would pay $7.36 per month to charge your car (saving $12.64). In New York, you would pay $12.04 per month to charge your car  (saving $12.72). These prices are assuming you are getting your power from the electricity grid. If you were to switch to a completely renewable electricity plan, such as powering your home through SolarCity , you would pay even less. Additionally, switching to power your home and appliances from renewables would further reduce your environ