Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Switch And Lithium Race: Electric Boom - Dozens EV Models Available Through 2020.

Miles of electric range.

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance


This is when one picture is better than thousand words. Electric Cars are coming. The Switch is here. Enjoy. And if you are missing words, they are below with links for your further research to find out for yourself why all cars will be electric and much faster than a lot of people anticipate it.




Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance




Lithium Race And The Coming Tide Of Electric Cars: Tesla Has Now 8 Vehicle Programs In The Works.


The next generation of Tesla Roadster.


Electrek reports about 8 electric vehicles in the works at Tesla and now you can better understand what I call the coming tide of Electric Cars. China is investing billions of dollars in The New Energy Plan creating its leapfrog into the post carbon economy by building the manufacturing base for the 21st century based on renewable energy and electric cars. Elon Musk has made electric cars unstoppable in the West almost alone - just compare the state level support in China with their military discipline to secure the full supply chain for Energy rEVolution and constant cry from auto lobbyists and Big Oil in the West.

Tesla is still way ahead of any closest competitors in the EV space. Elon Musk made it in a silicon valley style: get big fast and go online. His very bold move with Gigafactory is slashing lithium battery costs down and Chinese companies are mimicking it with their Lithium Megafactories. And Tesla's ability to collect data online from billions of miles driven by its electric cars and update them as our mobile phones has made a dramatic reduction in time and cost of EV R&D possible. That is why China is already flexing its financial muscles to get Tesla inland with "Chinese Facebook" Tencent taking 5% stake in the company recently. So do we still have a chance not to hold that bag after Energy rEVolution will claim its victims after all?








Lithium Race: Transfer Of The Best EV Technology Is Next - China's Tencent Takes Five Percent Stake In Tesla.



Make no mistake, geopolitical implications of the attempt to "Make America Great Again" with "Clean Coal" will go very far. China is executing meticulously its New Energy Plan taking dominant positions in one market after another. Lithium Materials - check, Lithium Batteries - in the making, Electric Cars - more than 70 EV models are on sale and now the hunt is on for the best technology to transfer in exchange for the access to the largest market.

"Today's news about the technology giant behind the Chinese "Facebook" Tencent taking a 5% stake in Tesla is giving more credibility to Elon Musk's plans to expand his operations in China. It is showing that the largest market in the world for electric cars in China will welcome Tesla in order to get the best technology for electric cars. It is all part of the very carefully crafted New Energy Plan in China. Next logical step will be to follow up on Elon Musk's ideas to bring production of Teslas into China as well. The transfer of the best EV technology is the next step. Who will be left behind holding the bag after Energy rEVolution?



Joe Lowry from Global Lithium has just reported that NCA cathode for lithium batteries is still produced in Japan by Panasonic for Tesla. This supply chain for Tesla Gigafactory is going all the way around the Globe and back to China. Panasonic is buying its lithium chemicals from China. China is "The Centre of The Lithium Universe"Lithium is the magic metal at the very heart of this Energy rEVolution and International Lithium is Lithium Strategic Investments and Royalty Company which is plugged-in the most dynamic EV and Energy Storage markets in China with partners like a giant from China Ganfeng Lithium." Read more.








Monday, 24 April 2017

International Lithium And Ganfeng Mariana Lithium JV Exploration Target And Indicated Resource Of 1.25 M T of LCE.




Exploration target at Mariana Lithium, Argentina. 
International Lithium NI 43-101 report.






Kirill Klip, Executive Chairman of ILC stated, "We are very pleased with the results of the maiden resource estimation at the Mariana lithium potash brine project, together with our strategic partner Ganfeng Lithium. This project is now moving from an early exploration stage to an advanced exploration stage where it will be more easily compared to other lithium brine projects in Argentina. We are looking forward to follow up with Ganfeng Lithium on the recommendations of this report in order to ensure the rapid advancement of the project towards the pilot stage and to conduct further feasibility studies that will investigate the economic viability of the Mariana project."



LEGAL DISCLAIMER

Please read legal disclaimer. There is no investment advice on this blog. Always consult a qualified financial adviser before any investment decisions. DYOR.





International Lithium Announces Multiple High-Grade Lithium Pegmatites Intersected at Mavis Lake Project, Ontario, Canada




“We are very pleased with the results Pioneer have achieved at Mavis and look forward to continued exploration success,” stated Kirill Klip, CEO of ILC. “Our concept of the Upper Canada Lithium Pool is moving forward and ILC has another lithium project in its portfolio moving toward a more advanced exploration stage. This success supports our strategy utilizing strategic partnerships to advance projects with the ultimate goal to secure lithium supply for the ongoing electrification of our transportation and energy storage applications.”






International Lithium:

International Lithium Files Technical Report with Indicated Resource Estimate of 1.25 Million Tonnes LCE at the Mariana Lithium Brine Project, Argentina

Vancouver, B.C. April 20, 2017: International Lithium Corp. (the “Company” or “ILC”) (TSX VENTURE: ILC) is pleased to announce, with strategic partner Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., (“GFL”) and together the “Companies”, the filing of a technical report that contains a maiden resource estimate for the Mariana lithium brine project (the “Project”) located in Salta, Argentina.
Summary 
Further to the Company’s news release dated March 8, 2017, ILC has filed a technical report for the Mariana lithium brine project containing a maiden resource estimate for the project. ILC requested Geos Mining Minerals Consultants (“Geos”) based in Sydney, Australia to prepare an independent lithium brine resource estimate for the Companies’ Mariana lithium brine deposit in Argentina, and with Geos consent, ILC prepared a technical report in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (the “Technical Report”).
The Technical Report, entitled “Technical Report; Mariana Lithium Project, Salar de Llullaillaco, Argentina” and dated April 10, 2017, is now available under the Company’s profile at www.SEDAR.com. The effective date for the resource estimate is January 20, 2017, which represents the date of the most recent data that supports the brine estimate in the Technical Report.



Report Highlights – Mariana Lithium Brine Project, Argentina 
The following highlights taken from the Technical Report, and set out below, should be considered in the context of the detailed information given there.
  • Indicated resource contains an estimated 1,248,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), previously reported with at a 60% recovery rate to be 747,000 tonnes LCE which is now calculated as 749,000 tonnes of LCE. 
  • Inferred resource contains an estimated 618,000 tonnes of LCE.
  • The indicated resource is estimated at 765 billion litres of brine grading 306 mg/L lithium (“Li”) and 9,457 mg/L potassium (“K”).
  • The inferred resource is estimated at 361 billion litres of brine grading 322 mg/L lithium (“Li”) and 10,316 mg/L potassium (“K”).
  • Brine resources are tabulated and reported for average specific yield (SY) of 15% and a cut-off value of 230 mg/L Li. Effective date for this resource estimate is January 20, 2017
The preliminary estimates for lithium brine are in the upper end of the Companies’ expectations.



Further Report Details 
ILC has completed four drilling campaigns on the Project since 2009: 7 reverse circulation (RC) holes and 16 cored holes. A total of 2,880 m were drilled on the Project during the last 10 months. A final campaign hole, MA16-24, was in-process as at the effective date of the Technical Report. Geophysical surveys were conducted downhole for the completed drill holes, using an electrical probe. Resistivity and spontaneous potential were measured. As part of a bulk extraction of lithium from brine bulk testwork undertaken in 2015 a pumping well, MA15-09-PW, and 2 monitoring wells, MA15-08-MW, MA15-10-MW, were drilled and constructed. Drill hole MA12-07 was used as a third monitoring well. The drilling and hydrogeological data indicates that the Mariana Project at Salar de Llullaillaco is a brine-bearing sedimentary filled basin complex with unconfined interconnected aquifer to considerable depth of 328m and possibly deeper. Based on the preliminary drill information, eight lithological classes were identified in the drill hole cores, shown in the west, east and southern extents of the basin. The aquifer volume is still open at depth in the majority of the salar since only two drill holes (MA16-23 and MA16-18) potentially intercepted suspected basement Oligocene to Pliocene  volcanic lithologies.
Brine deposits are unlike the majority of mineral deposits in that they are fluid. Fluids within a brine deposit can move, and can mix with adjacent fluids when exploitation of a brine deposit begins. Evaluation of such deposits therefore requires special considerations that are not, in general, applied to other style of mineral deposits.
The assessment of brine deposit has been limited to defining mineral resources at different levels of certainty, varying from Indicated Resource to Exploration Target, based on the certainty provided by the data collected during fieldwork. Levels of assessment, as linked to data certainty are listed below, covering those areas that fall within the Project tenements only.
Brine resources are tabulated and reported for average specific yield (SY) of 15% and use a cut-off value of 230 mg/L Li in Table 1.
Table 1: Total indicated and total inferred resource estimates.
CategoryEffective Volume M m3Brine Density
g/mL
Li mg/LB mg/LK mg/LSO42-mg/LMg mg/LHCO3– mg/LLi
K t
LCE#
K t
Indicated7661.2183065999,45615,5304,2915292341,248
Inferred3611.22232264210,31615,3154, 566535116618
The Indicated Resource of 766 Mm3 at a grade of 306 mg/L Li equates to 234Kt of lithium as Li ion. Upon conversion of Li to lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) using a conversion factor of 5.324, gives an equivalent of approximately 1.3 Mt of Li2CO3. However, using a conservative 60% estimated total recovery return from processing gives a conservative estimate of 749 Kt of Li2CO3 equivalent (LCE).
In preparing this resource estimates, Geos considered and applied processes to be appropriate for brine style deposits, using the principles set out in National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”), Joint Ore Resources Code JORC (2012) for mineral projects, and CIM Best Practice Guidelines for Resource and Reserve Estimation for Lithium Brines.
The Company cautions the reader that no economic studies have been carried out on the Project. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves as defined by the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Company cannot guarantee that the resources reported here will be converted to mineral reserves.
The initial brine resource estimate for the Project is based on limited knowledge of the geometry of individual aquifer units between broadly spaced drill holes, and the variation in porosity and brine grade within these aquifers. Specific yield values are based on porosity test results from a restricted sample population and compared with data from analogous salars in the region and technical references. In order to assess the recoverable brine resource with a higher level of confidence, further information on the permeability and flow regime in the aquifer, and watershed basin water balance are necessary.




Conclusions and Recommendations from the Report
The project is moving forward from early stage exploration to advanced exploration. Work on the following tasks is currently underway and was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017:
  1. Detailed pump test;
  2. Construction of evaporation ponds;
  3. Water balance studies;
  4. Transportation studies;
  5. Environmental baseline and archaeological study; and
  6. Preliminary feasibility study.
Updating of the mineral resources estimated in the Technical report is another recommendation which will help to support the preliminary feasibility study. This work will include further exploration to bring the remaining inferred resource to indicated stage, and indicated resource to measured resource.
Kirill Klip, Executive Chairman of ILC stated, “We are very pleased with the results of the maiden resource estimation at the Mariana lithium potash brine project, together with our strategic partner Ganfeng Lithium. This project is now moving from an early exploration stage to an advanced exploration stage where it will be more easily compared to other lithium brine projects in Argentina. We are looking forward to follow up with Ganfeng Lithium on the recommendations of this report in order to ensure the rapid advancement of the project towards the pilot stage and to conduct further feasibility studies that will investigate the economic viability of the Mariana project.”



The following Qualified Person (QP’s) are responsible for preparation of the Report:
  • Llyle Sawyer, Senior Consultant, Geos Mining;
  • Oliver Willetts, Senior Resource Geologist, Geos Mining; and
  • Afzaal Pirzada, M.Sc., P.Geo.
Llyle Sawyer is a senior geological consultant with over 20 years of experience in geology, mineral exploration, mineral resource estimation and mineral project assessment.  He is a Registered Professional and is currently a Member of the Australia Institute of Geoscientists (member number 3512).  Llyle Sawyer is an independent technical consultant contracted by Geos Mining and has worked on similar lithium brine salar deposits in Argentina and other brine style deposits within Australia.  He has the required level of experience and expertise to qualify as a Qualified Person (QP) as defined in the National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, Form 43-101F1 Technical Report and related consequential amendments.
Mr. Sawyer is independent of Litio Minera Argentina S.A. (and International Lithium Corp.) as independence is described by Section 1.4 of NI 43–101. He has visited the Mariana Project on 4 occasions during drilling operations since May 2016. Mr. Sawyer has been involved with the Project since August 2010 in the form of ongoing advice upon request, discussion of exploration programs and during preparation of the brine resource estimate and the Report.
Geos Mining is an independent consulting firm recognized for providing expertise in geological, mineral exploration, resource modelling, and mining advice; as specialists in the fields of geology, exploration, mineral resource and mineral reserve estimation and classification, and project valuation.  Litio Minera Argentina S. A. (the joint venture company formed by the Companies to advance the Mariana project in Argentina, “LMA”) have continued to engage Geos Mining to prepare this independent preliminary resource report for the Project.
Oliver Willetts is a senior resource geologist with over 9 years of experience in geology, mineral exploration, mineral resource estimation and mineral project assessment.  He is a Registered Professional and is currently a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (member number 312940).  Mr. Willetts is an independent technical consultant contracted by Geos Mining and has worked on resource estimation for a variety of minerals (phosphate, potash (from brines), gold, coal, base metals) within Australia, Africa and South America.
Afzaal Pirzada, Geological Consultant of the Company, and a “Qualified Person” for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release. 

International Lithium Corp. has a significant portfolio of projects, strong management, robust financial support, and a strategic partner and keystone investor, Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., a leading China-based lithium product manufacturer.
The Company’s primary focus is the strategic stake in the Mariana lithium-potash brine project located within the renowned South American “Lithium Belt” that is the host to the vast majority of global lithium resources, reserves and production. The Mariana project,  strategically encompasses an entire mineral rich evaporite basin, totalling 160 square kilometres, that ranks as one of the more prospective salars or ‘salt lakes’ in the region. Current ownership of the project is through a joint venture company, Litio Minera Argentina S. A., a private company registered in Argentina, owned 80% by Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. (“GFL”), and 20% by ILC. In addition, ILC has an option to acquire 10% in the Mariana project through a back-in right.
Complementing the Company’s lithium brine project are three rare metals pegmatite properties in Canada known as the Mavis, Raleigh, and Forgan projects, and the Avalonia project in Ireland, which encompasses an extensive 50km-long pegmatite belt.  The Avalonia project is under option to strategic partner GFL, that currently owns 55% of the project. The Mavis and Raleigh projects are under option to strategic partner Pioneer Resources Limited (ASX:PIO) pursuant to which Pioneer can acquire up to a 51% interest in the projects.
The Mavis, Raleigh and Forgan projects together form the basis of the Company’s newly created Upper Canada Lithium Pool designated to focus on acquiring numerous prospects with previously reported high concentrations of lithium in close proximity to existing infrastructure.
With the increasing demand for high tech rechargeable batteries used in vehicle propulsion technologies and portable electronics, lithium is paramount to tomorrow’s “green-tech”, sustainable economy. By positioning itself with solid strategic partners and acquiring high quality assets for the Energy rEVolution supply chain, ILC aims to be the partner of choice for investors in green-tech and to continue to build value for its shareholders.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, 
Kirill Klip
Executive Chairman 
For further information concerning this news release please contact +1 604-700-8912
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Except for statements of historical fact, this news release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as “plan”, “expect”, “project”, “intend”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “will”, “could” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “could” occur. Such forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those discussed in the sections entitled “Forward-Looking Statements” in the interim and annual Management’s Discussion and Analysis which are available at www.sedar.com. While our management believes that the assumptions made are reasonable, should one or more of the risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking information. Forward-looking information herein, and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information should circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions change.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Lithium Race: Tesla Model 3 Is The Best Of 12 Cheapest Electric Cars On Sale In 2017.



Tesla Model 3 will change everything for electric cars. The Switch will be happening when millions of people will be buying electric cars. Now we are very close to this stage. The best electric cars are becoming more and more affordable for the masses.







Kirill Klip, Chairman, President and CEO, International Lithium Corp.



The real electric cars are finally coming on our streets. Stage one of The Tide is coming with two Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the West to start mass-market adoption phase: GM Bolt and Tesla Model 3. Both electric cars are priced below $40,000 and give you more than 200 miles range. The Switch will happen when millions of people will be buying electric cars instead of ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) ones. The demand for Mobility is already here, all we have to do is to make EVs better and cheaper than cancer hazard polluting ICE ones. Then millions of customers will start The Switch literally. Read more.



Tesla Model 3 production candidate.



The Tide Is Coming: The Economist: Electric Cars Are Set To Arrive Far More Speedily Than Anticipated.







Falling Lithium Battery Prices Are Driving The Exponential Growth Of Electric Cars.






"We have the magic of technology in the making now. While ICE cars were becoming more  and more complex and more expensive with time, electric cars are enjoying The Silicon Valley laws of dramatically decreasing costs with "The Learning Curve." Lithium Batteries are the most significant part of the overall costs in electric cars and the costs are going down as fast as 19% per year, according to Bloomberg. Actually, the situation is already much better than presented in the article below. Elon Musk has announced long time ago that al-in-all cost of lithium batteries at Gigafactory is already $190/kWh! "I do not really know" why journalists are not digging enough information to stay current on the subject. Headlines like "Electric Cars Are Here To Stay" belong to 2009, not 2017 when they are getting to the milestone of being sold over a million per year.

Tesla Model 3 and GM Bolt will ignite the next phase of mass adoption for electric cars in the West attacking the exponential part of "The S-Curve." Both EVs are priced below $40k and provide the range of over 200 miles. The price of the average new car in the U.S. has skyrocketed to over $33k in 2016 and now these electric cars will be very attractive to the new buyers. When you will consider the overall cost of ownership these EVs start to beat ICE cars of the similar model class not only on performance but on cost as well! 

We are moving very fast with electric cars out of grasp by any politics and towards the economic decisions when customers will start voting with their wallets. This is the bifurcation point to put all ICE cars to rest in a decade. It will be impossible to sell cancer hazard 100 years old oil burning technology anymore. The Switch is happening right now when millions of people are deciding to buy new electric cars. Read more."







Saturday, 22 April 2017

Energy rEVolution And Lithium Race: Solar Was The Earthquake - Storage Will Be The Tsunami.



Correction: Professor Ray Wills has brought to my attention, that this graph above has the wrong attribution. Below you can find the correct information and you are welcome to visit his website at raywills.net and follow him on Twitter @ProfRayWills





We have been talking here a lot about the coming tide of electric cars, now it is time to look out for the tsunami of lithium storage applications following the earthquake with an eruption of Solar Power Generation Capacity which is shattering the $8 Trillion dollars Energy Industry. Today is Earth Day and what is the better way to celebrate it than to ditch fossils and their dirty "clean coal" at least for a day? The UK was generating all its power yesterday without a single coal plant being online. It can be done, the future is already here, it is just not everybody knows about it.








Energy rEVolution: Who Will Be Left Holding The Bag? Oil And Gas Companies Are Facing Major Technological Disruption.






You can spin a lot of things around in this day and age, you can even try to "Make Coal Clean Again". But once a technology is developed to address the particular problem, the magic of mass production is taking place and costs are going down fast in accordance with Moore's law for chips and "The Learning Curve" laws for the other industries.  





We are at the major bifurcation point for our civilization, Energy rEVolution is unstoppable now. We can produce Renewable Energy cheaper than any other fossil alternatives. And now we can store it and use when we want it with Lithium Energy Storage Technology. You can build some walls to protect some fossils in business, but when Reds are going Green this process is making a truly tectonic geopolitical shift





When China is going full ahead building the new Manufacturing Base of the 4th Industrial rEVolution with its New Energy Plan, the West is better to take notice.We are not just talking here about the largest in the world Solar and Wind generation capacity in China or its largest market for Electric Cars in the world. 






We are talking about Oil becoming less and less important in terms of being like Blood for The Economy when everything just stops without it being pumped through The Economic and Financial System every single day. Suddenly, one society can live without burning it every day just to get around the block. It will have its place in the military, air transportation and chemical industries, but it is not as precious as Blood anymore. 





Now, let's think about the most important subject here. What will happen to all other societies? To those ones which are built all around Oil? When their military power suddenly becomes irrelevant. When they are left with Trillions of dollars in stranded assets glued to Oil. This is the real disruption and asymmetric warfare. Who needs war when you are building Steam Engines just to "Make America Great Again"?





The last insult will come when the best brilliant scientific minds will start following the best technology in the Transfer of The History to China as well. We still have some time to make The Switch, but this time is running out very fast. Who will be left holding the bag with Trillions of dollars worthless stranded assets after this energy rEVolution will claim its victims?






Back Into The Future: Lithium Will Power Us For The Next 50 Years And Then Robots.






Lithium Race And The New Energy Plan: China Will Plow $361 Billion Into Renewable Power Generation By 2020.





"We have very serious money coming very fast into renewable energy space all over the world now. Bill Gates is making a Billion dollar fund to invest in the clean energy and China cannot really hide anymore its very ambitious quest for the world domination ... in all things Green first. And Green is the color of money this time. And I actually think that these are very positive developments: hopefully, President Trump will not help just China to become Great again and America will get its fair share of common sense. 

Let's all better compete in the Clean Energy Race than Arms Race. Asymmetric Warfare will be the name of the game now.  Solar and Electric Cars mean business these days. Whoever will succeed to bring them all up to the state level scale will enjoy the benefits of virtually free energy after the CAPEX is invested, while the other side will be sitting on Trillions of dollars in stranded assets. 

Trade War - anybody? It has never stopped really and is taking its way now with the tide of disrupting technologies from the labs with literally millions of the best-trained engineering minds and into the markets taking them by storm. FED central planners can never really even imagine what the real central planning can do: China's New Energy Plan is in action now. So one would think: who should call whom now first: Elon Musk or Donal Trump? Read more."


Energy Storage Report:

Webinar’s solar-plus-battery secrets

By Jason Deign
Combining battery storage with solar generation is already cheaper than using diesel in most microgrids, said experts at an Energy Storage Report webinar last week.
“As the key applications, we see islanded grids or microgrids, [where] PV and batteries are becoming cost-competitive with diesel,” confirmed Valts Grintals from Delta Energy & Environment in the event organised alongside Ata Insights.
A case in point is France, where interest in solar plus storage is highest in islands and “non-interconnected zones,” where around 60% of PV projects so far have been installed with batteries, Grintals said.
This interest is set to grow following the launch of a tender last year for almost 52MW more of island-based solar capacity, spread across 33 projects. “We expect to see more storage coming into these projects,” said Grintals.
“In France, PV and storage is a great solution to stabilise the grid [and] help enable microgrid use, and it is already cost competitive.”

Important applications for storage

Other important applications for storage with solar include grids where renewable energy integration is an issue, or places where a grid connection cannot handle new PV capacity, he said.
As well as France, Delta predicts solar plus storage is due to take off in Australia, Canada, South Africa, US and the UK. Australia is perhaps one of the biggest markets so far for large-scale PV with storage.
Grintals said 50% of PV projects were now being developed with storage, again with microgrids representing a significant portion.
Major microgrid developments to date include the 800kW, 2MWh Daly River Solar Projectand the 2MW, 500kWh Garden Island Project.
Another speaker in the webinar, Burak Türker of Younicos, said microgrid designers were using batteries as a way of reducing the need for curtailment of both solar and wind energy.

Increasing self-consumption 

At the same time, battery storage could help increase self-consumption, achieve higher renewable energy shares, improve ramp rates, comply with system operator requirements, and carry out demand shifting and arbitrage.
Younicos has put the microgrid solar-plus-storage theory into practice on Graciosa in the Azores.
There the company installed a 4MW, 3.2MWh lithium-ion battery system alongside solar and wind to cut down on diesel consumption.
Younicos has calculated the microgrid will have an 11% internal rate of return and a full system payback period of less than 15 years, saving almost 2.4m litres of diesel and cutting carbon emissions by 6,305 tons of CO2 a year.
While microgrids offer one of the best business cases for solar plus storage, the webinar speakers also noted growth in several other applications.

“We’ve noticed a huge interest”

For example, said Oscar Pereles, chief operating officer of Ata Renewables: “We’ve noticed a huge interest in our customers, in the last year or year and a half, in what could be potential solutions of utility-scale PV and batteries.”
Markets are moving from centralised to distributed generation, he said, but according to Navigant Research most energy storage will continue to be deployed on utility networks for the foreseeable future.
“The projects are in exponential growth,” he said. “We think storage will be a tsunami in the next five to 10 years.”
Technology-wise, all speakers agreed that lithium-ion was by far the market leader, although flow batteries were also mentioned as being of interest.
In terms of cost, flow and lithium-ion batteries are due to converge on pumped hydro by 2024, Navigant Research predicts.

Containerised lithium-ion storage

Pereles noted that Ata Renewables had been working on the potential for installing containerised lithium-ion storage in Puerto Rico since 2010, and had originally seen prices of around USD$1m for a 1MW, 420kWh system.
“That price has come down, as of today, to a half,” he said. “We’re talking prices for power batteries of around $1 a watt power and around half a dollar a watt-hour for energy applications.”
This fall in costs is driving solar-plus-storage take-up among utilities, for energy shifting, he said.
One example is Tesla’s Powerpack installation on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where Tesla is providing the local utility with solar power at less than $0.14 per kilowatt-hour. That’s around 10% cheaper than what was available before.
Increasingly, adding batteries is to solar is no longer a prohibitively costly exercise, as Ata Renewables showed with an analysis of the impact of batteries on the cost of an 800MW PV plant in the United Arab Emirates.

A modest effect on the price of energy

It found the addition of current-market lithium-ion power batteries only had a modest effect on the price of energy, increasing it from $0.029 to $0.035 per kWh.
Moving to energy applications, the price rose to $0.0526 with one hour of storage, $0.0726 with two hours, $0.0889 with three hours and $0.0997 with four.
“With today’s technology, we can make an 800MW facility with a four-hour storage system, with shifting capabilities, below 10 cents,” Pereles said. “We might be able to compete with many other dispatchable energies today.”