Oil producers and research organizations around the world are revising their electric vehicle forecasts upward as improving battery costs challenge previous assumptions about growth.

A new study from Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows just how dramatically estimates are changing. The most radical swing comes from OPEC, an organization made up of leading oil producing nations, which boosted its forecast of electric vehicle sales by 500 percent compared to last year. 

OPEC isn't the only industry group revising its assumptions about growth. BNEF researchers cataloged a number of radical changes in projections.

The International Energy Agency has more than doubled its estimate about global

California Assembly Yanks Major Storage Bill, Pushing It to 2018

One of China’s biggest wind turbine makers has been quietly and slowly building out a business in the U.S. and developing digital energy software with a group of U.S. tech firms.

Envision Energy, based in Shanghai, announced an alliance on Friday that includes Microsoft, Accenture and ARM, and is focused on uniting “a fragmented energy world,” as CEO Lei Zhang described it, around digital networking, sensors and algorithms.

“We are providing the digital foundation for the energy world. We want to create a new version of an energy company,” said Zhang in an interview in downtown San Francisco. Additional members are expected to join the

Leaked Draft of DOE’s Grid Study Says Renewables Are Not a Threat

A lab that opened last month in Fife, Scotland shows how the energy industry is embracing virtual reality systems considered futuristic just two years ago.

The Fife College Immersive Hybrid Reality lab is designed to “enhance the training and development of the next generation of offshore wind turbine technicians,” according to a press release.

It simulates the top of a nacelle on a 7-megawatt offshore wind turbine, allowing students to carry out fault-finding inspections without having to leave shore.

The virtual environment is modelled on a real-life demonstration turbine off the East Fife coast, used by the U.K.’s

Seasonal trends, favorable conditions and ever-improving technology all came together in April to help America’s wind turbine fleet spin past coal’s capacity factor.

The Energy Information Administration's Electric Power Monthly (Tables 6.7.A and 6.7.B) put wind at 44.8 percent, slightly above coal’s 43.4 percent -- and just below the 45.7 percent of the nation’s combined-cycle natural-gas plants.

A closer look at these contributing factors will help give better context for this achievement, so we’ll review each in turn.

Coal-Wind capacity factor.png

Seasonal trends

As seen from the chart above, the United States’ wind fleet saw its highest capacity factors around April, roughly corresponding to the nation’s

California Assembly Yanks Major Storage Bill, Pushing It to 2018

A draft version of the Department of Energy's highly-anticipated grid study states that wind and solar do not represent a serious threat to electric grid reliability, running counter to comments made by Energy Secretary Rick Perry earlier this year. 

"Costly environmental regulations and subsidized renewable generation have exacerbated base-load power plant retirements," according to a draft obtained by Bloomberg. "However, those factors played minor roles compared to the long-standing drop in electricity demand relative to previous expectation and years of low electric prices driven by high natural gas availability."

Perry ordered the grid study in April to examine if Obama-era clean energy incentives were

California Assembly Yanks Major Storage Bill, Pushing It to 2018

Siemens Gamesa last month trumpeted market-leading innovation in turbines installed at the world’s largest floating wind farm.

But at least one expert has claimed the 6-megawatt horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) design deployed at Hywind is not groundbreaking enough for the industry’s future needs.

“Although I have done a lot of technical due diligence work since 2010, I have never been entirely convinced that simply making HAWTs bigger and bigger is a way forward,” said geotechnical and engineering geology consultant Chris Golightly.

Instead, Golightly believes the industry should be moving to develop vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) designs for use with floating substructures. “VAWTs

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