Energy Storage

Book by Dave Elliott: As renewable energy use expands there will be a need to develop ways to balance its variability. Storage is one of the options. Presently the main emphasis is for systems storing electrical power in advanced batteries (many of them derivatives of parallel developments in the electric vehicle field), as well as via liquid air storage, compressed air storage, super-capacitors and flywheels, and, the leader so far, pumped hydro reservoirs. In addition, new systems are emerging for hydrogen generation and storage, feeding fuel cell power production. Heat (and cold) is also a storage medium and some systems exploit thermal effects as part of wider energy management activity. Some of the more exotic ones even try to use gravity on a large scale. This short book looks at all the options, their potentials and their limits. There are no clear winners, with some being suited to short-term balancing and others to longer-term storage. The eventual mix adopted will be shaped by the pattern of development of other balancing measures, including smart-grid demand management and super-grid imports and exports.

IOP Science 16th July 2017 read more »

National Grid has significantly scaled back its forecasts for the build-up of storage capacity in its latest annual Future Energy Scenarios report. The system operator still expects to see “strong initial growth” in all four of its main scenarios in the 2020s, before deployments taper off as the market becomes saturated. The lowest level of electricity storage is seen in the “steady state” scenario, which describes a future in which both prosperity and green ambitions are limited. In this world, storage capacity reaches just 5.2GW by 2050. Deployments are expected to be highest in the “consumer power” scenario, in which there is strong economic growth but little focus on sustainability. Storage capacity rises to 10.7GW as large volumes of distributed generation, solar in particular, create favourable conditions for the stacking of revenues. By comparison, the previous Future Energy Scenarios report projected storage capacity to rise to between 3GW and 11GW by 2030, and between 3.6GW and 18GW by 2040.

Utility Week 14th July 2017 read more »

We now have a new way to extract a rare ‘superfuel’—and it could be the most important energy development since shale oil went commercial. Oh, and it only takes a day. This ‘superfuel’ is the foundation of everything that defines our high-tech future—from crazed demand for rechargeable batteries, energy storage systems and electric vehicles, to the millions of consumer electronics we boost demand for daily. The superfuel is lithium, and the craze is already on. But we won’t have enough—not because we can’t find it. Lithium is abundant. It’s because demand is skyrocketing and we haven’t been able to extract it for a decent cost—until now.

Oil Price 16th July 2017 read more »

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Published: 17 July 2017