AN application described as “the most prevalent storage technology operating globally”, which Scotland is well placed to use to create massive carbon savings, needs to be brought on to a level playing field with other solutions. Academics at the Centre for Energy Policy (CEP) at Strathclyde University have launched a discussion paper on pump storage hydro (PSH), which stores energy as water. The National revealed last month that the technology, not unlike a “huge, infinite battery”, could help Scotland achieve its climate ambitions. Several projects are being developed in Scotland, at Loch Ness, Loch Tay and Loch Awe, but PSH advocates believe that government policy design support – not subsidy – is necessary to put it on a par with other solutions to the intermittency challenge from renewables. PSH works by using upper and lower reservoirs. During the day, water drops through tunnels to the lower level, driving hydro turbines to generate electricity. Overnight, cheap electricity is used to pump the water back to the higher level. It is said to offer “the long-term availability to store energy in times of high supply and to release it in times of high demand”. While reliance on renewable energy continues to grow, the need for storage to ensure security of supply is becoming increasingly urgent.
The National 10th Dec 2018 read more »