Morning Brief: Elon Musk hints at yet another battery breakthrough, CAISO provides details on California blackouts

Elon Musk

Also in the brief: A surge of nuclear outages in the U.S. this summer, Japan’s struggle to drive down renewables costs

Elon Musk hints at new battery technology: While Elon Musk has chided the battery industry for its constant drumbeat of ‘breakthroughs,” Musk, once again, is hinting at a battery breakthrough.

Musk recently tweeted that batteries with energy densities of 400 Wh/kg will be commercially produced in three to four years, a figure which will allow battery-powered flight, according to the celebrity CEO.

Conspiratorially-minded Tesla fans have divined that the battery and announcement involves a “silicon nanowire anode” breakthrough. We try to recall Edison’s words when it comes to battery breakthrough announcements.

CAISO provides more details on blackouts: CAISO and the California PUC and Energy Commission explained to Gov. Gavin Newsom why the state had two days of rolling blackouts recently. The three California organizations that oversee electricity responded to a request by Gov. Gavin Newsom to explain why the state had two days of rolling blackouts on Aug. 14 and 15 and would have had more if not for statewide conservation efforts.  ‘We agree that the power outages experienced by Californians this week are unacceptable and unbefitting of our state and the people we serve,’ CAISO, the Public Utilities Commission and the Energy Commission told Newsom in a joint letter last week. ‘We are working closely as joint energy organizations to understand exactly why these events occurred,’ they said.  The tone of shared responsibility differed from CAISO’s initially blaming the CPUC for failing to procure sufficient energy despite warnings of capacity shortfalls starting this summer. SourceRTO Insider

This summer we are seeing a surge in nuclear outages across the Lower 48. Compared to August of last year the NRC outage report is showing an additional 5 GWa off line. Most of these outages are either forced, elective maintenance or retirements as the refuel season typically does not start until after the Labor Day weekend. The change from last year has averaged out to an additional 1 BCF per day of power burn demand month to date but this does not tell the whole story. Total power burns for the Lower 48 are averaging 41 BCF for this month which is just under where we were this time last year. SourceEnergy GPS

Japan’s struggle to drive down renewables costs: A nation famous for high electricity prices has seen power costs fall 15% this year, according to analyst Wood Mackenzie, a figure which will help attract $100 billion of solar and wind investment to 2030. Renewables will have to work even harder, however, to displace fossil fuels in hydrogen production. Sourcepv magazine global

One late piece came across the pv magazine USA desk: Ginlong is hosting a webinar with an all-star cast of female solar industry leaders that will reveal how our industry’s technology evolution will impact utility-scale solar development. Emilie Wangerman, VP of Business Development for Lightsource BP will kick the showcase with a keynote expounding on the complex ways utility solar products will change in the coming years, from the vantage point of one of the largest energy company’s on the planet. It’s not too late to join in one the conversation!

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