Monday, November 7, 2016

                         THE  IRRATIONAL  PESSIMIST

What's  gotten into  the usually eubulent  Lord Ridley?  His Rational Optimist website complains  Alt.Energy activists misrepresent his views on the cost of battery energy storage:
Published on:   
The scale and cost of battery storage for grid power would be huge
My Times column on batteries:

Batteries are no longer boring. Whether catching fire in Samsung Note 7s, being hailed as the answer to future electricity grids thanks to breakthrough chemical innovation, or being manufactured on a gigantic scale in Elon Musk’s gigafactory in Nevada, batteries are box office. And though battery technology is indeed advancing by leaps and bounds, there is a considerable quantity of balderdash being talked about it too.If only we could store electricity! Then we could make it in the summer sun and on windy days, for use on cold winter nights. All right, let’s do a simple calculation...
Battery costs have more than halved in about five or six years. One study says: “Industry-wide cost estimates declined by approximately 14 per cent annually between 2007 and 2014, from above $1,000 per kWh to around $410 per kWh.”  However, that’s still an awful lot more expensive than the principal current method of storing energy...
Had Matt consulted that greatest of modern economic oracles, E-Bay, he might have reached  a different conclusion-- his cost calculation is off by an order of magnitude.  The invisible hand has already yanked the floor out from under the cost of power storage in rechargable lithium batteries, which are already on offer for well under fifty dollars per kilowatt-hour  of capacity :