Robert Rapier at R-Squared Energy Blog looks into recent claims by DARPA to soon have oil from algae at a cost of $2/gallon. His bottom line: “I suspect that in a couple of years we will be doing the post-mortem on this one when we find that there is no $2 algal oil to be found anywhere.”
From time to time you see reports of electric utility executives or analysts worried about a forthcoming avalanche of electric vehicles (EVs) that will, just maybe, overwhelm utility distribution systems. What happens if everyone comes home from work and plugs in at the same time? What happens if drivers want to recharge on-peak rather than off-peak? I’m omitting links because I’m reacting to the general attitude and not a specific analysis, but a recent sample comment was the stern declaration: “EVs need to avoid charging during peak hours.”
When car batteries become sufficiently advanced that lots of people actually buy and drive an electric car, then electric-utility scale batteries will also be more advanced. It is, or at least can be, the same technology. Utility applications actually have more choices, the batteries don’t have to be lightweight, so improvements in battery technology are likely to become widespread within the power industry before they become widespread in vehicle applications.
The supply side of the industry will readily handle the changes in load presented by growth of the electric vehicle market.