With the change-over from centralised fossil fuel power to distributed renewable energy, there is intense interest in battery storage to cope with intermittency of solar PV and wind power. There is no doubt that batteries will have a major part in the transition. Apart from flow batteries, however, the opportunities for multiple-hour storage and discharge at scale over a period of hours is still unresolved. It is implemented for cars and household storage and indeed the first steps to access power stored in the batteries of Electric Vehicles have already been taken. The interesting thing about accessing EV batteries by the grid, is that the capital costs of these batteries have already been covered to provide transport. Hence the storage costs involve only accelerated wear and tear on the batteries which occurs when charging and accessing power (whether at home or wherever the vehicle gets connected to the grid). The amount of power available from a fully implemented EV program is astonishing. This is not yet realised as there are not enough EVs. Furthermore, the technology for accessing and managing this power is not yet implemented. There is a complementary energy storage system that is well established globally, with ~143GW of storage currently accessed in 40 countries. This power can handle massive capacity requirements and also allows seasonal storage. This is pumped hydro and it is attractive because it involves recycling of water between adjacent upper and lower reservoirs which have a substantial height differential. The cycle efficiency of modern pumped hydro is ~80 per cent, which compares favourably with CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine) cycle efficiency of 30-60 per cent.
Renew Economy 24th May 2016 read more »
With prices dropping rapidly for both renewables and battery storage, the economics of decarbonizing the grid are changing faster than most policymakers, journalists, and others realize. So, as part of my ongoing series, “Almost Everything You Know About Climate Change Solutions Is Outdated,” I will highlight individual case studies of this real-time revolution.
Climate Progress 18th May 2016 read more »
Energy storage company Powervault has amassed £1 million of investment through its latest crowdfunding campaign, with two days left to go.
Utility Week 23rd May 2016 read more »