S2nrg has developed the Integrated Hybrid Energy™ (“IHE”) technology platform, to liberate the stranded energy from energy-intensive industrial processes. IHE combines the energy contained in industrial waste streams with traditional renewable energy sources (solar, wind, bio) derived from other underutilized assets (land, rooftops, etc.) from the “hot” industries such as steel, aluminum, glass, and cement to produce clean, renewable and reliable sources of energy. S2nrg refers to this as Industrial Renewable Energy. Companies can use this energy for their own production and provide the extra, as variable source of power to the net.
This additional power is ideal for the market as there is an increasing preference for variable and decentralized energy, contradicting conventional wisdom about electric power that wind, solar and renewable energy are a supplement to nuclear and fossil fuels. The latter would provide the baseload and the former green energy’s would provide the variable extras.
According to David Olsen, a member of the board of governors of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), a grid serving 30 million people in California and small parts of Nevada, the preference is indeed shifting to variables. “Having a 24/7 nuclear plant, form a grid operator’s standpoint – that is a real problem”. Adding: “Dealing with 2200 megawatts coming in at every minute – we have to design our grid around that inflexibility”; referring to the Californian 2.2 gigawatt Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.
Olsen’s assessment, which is echoed by many other California grid experts, regulators, and utility executives, is completely different from the way people look at the supply of energy today. The increasing solar generation, energy storage and use of electric vehicles makes variable energy like renewables more valuable and certainly not less. As utilities and grid operators move forward in this new world, flexibility, not 24/7 output, will be the name of the game.
Traditional baseload is based on the idea of centralized dispatch out to customers who have no control,” says Lorenzo Kristov, principal of market and infrastructure policy at CAISO. “As we shift to more production at the local side, what you really start to get is baseload energy in a decentralized manner.” That is a change of massive proportions, and we’re just at the beginning.