Diesel Generators: Replacement or Augmentation with Starwind5, Solar & Batteries?

Reducing your carbon footprint  by reducing or eliminating diesel powered generation has it’s benefits, if the numbers work.

In order for the numbers to work, that is making sure your LCOE has an acceptable ROI from your 20 year power generation facility investment, there are a number of factors which must be considered and compared:

Here is a quick short list of comparative factors for small  power generation life cycles and our view, the current market state  when comparing Diesel Generation and Storage with Hybrid Renewable  Generation and Storage:

Ranked    5 Good      1 Bad

Diesel Generation                    Hybrid Renewable Generation

(Today’s Diesel Fuel Prices)           (Wind/Solar/Batteries)

Factor                  Pros                Cons                    Pros    Cons                                   Comments/Caveats

Design Effort          5                        0                        0            2           Renewable design is more complex

Installation              5                        0                        2           3           Diesel gen is simple, solar is simple, wind is not

Energy Storage      5                         0                       3           2           Diesel is low cost/dirty, batteries still costly

O & M Costs           0                        5                       2            3           Diesel monthly maint., vs. battery replace

Cap Ex Cost           5                         0                      3           2           Diesel is cheap vs. batteries/wind higer cost

Carbon Tax            0                         5                      5           0           Renewable Gen. wins here every time

Asset Disposal       2                         2                       2           2           A Tie, renewables complex, diesel needs care

Total                      22                       14                     17        14

While in the short term (today and the next six months) diesel can still make sense, the tipping point is clearly in favour of hybrid renewable generation within 12 months.

Here is why: Energy Storage Prices (Gel Acid and Lithium Batteries) will be reduced by another 50% in the next two years with effective power density increases and cycle life for the same price of batteries we pay today. Witness Tesla’s Power Wall offer today and have a look at Enphase and their AC Storage offer. It’s already happening.

This above fact combined with a market expert expected (re-) increase in the price of diesel, where diesel can be expected in most markets to be sold at the same price as regular gas in the next 12-18 months, means, the Cons of diesel will increase (higher fuel prices) as the Cons of hybrid renewable energy decrease (lower battery prices)  with a decent increase in Pros (higher generation efficiency from Solar and Wind generation, and higher battery power density).

What it really means if you are planning a small generation facility build in the next 12 months, is a hybrid renewable generation build is the only way to go, as we move into a new era of  hybrid renewable distributed power generation (wind and solar) and energy storage (Gel acid and Lithium batteries with 50% more power density and 2X higher cycles to get to 12-15 year usable battery life).

Tesla with their Power Wall pricing (as well Enphase with their AC Storage offer) has as much to do with this tipping point arriving in 12 months as has the expected rise in the cost of all Oil and Gas products including diesel, as the current low  diesel fuel prices are not supportable. Quiet frankly the Saudis, the architects behind low prices and their squeeze play on Shale gas producers, given their gigantic deficit and cash reserve rapid reductions,  will either be bankrupt in 18 months or they will  raise prices, not to mention their own dwindling reserves. Go figure.

This imminent tipping point to Hybrid renewable small power generation and storage and away from Diesel power generation and storage is all good news for vendors, installers and end users of hybrid renewable power generation and energy storage, and very good news for Starwind5 Low Mount Wind Turbines. 🙂