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Renewable energy battery storage a continuing problem

Grid scale energy storage Credit:solarcellcentral.com

Grid scale energy storage Credit:solarcellcentral.com

Renewable energy can never and will never be deployed at grid scale nationwide until sufficient capacity is available to store the energy until it is needed. Baseline power like coal and natural gas is steady and 24/7. Renewable energy fluctuates and thus can produce power when it isn’t needed, hence the need for grid scale storage.

Here’s the dilemma:

Currently, roughly 12.1 percent of the US’s energy comes from wind, solar and other renewable sources, while the national grid has a storage capacity of only one percent.

Storage will have to come from batteries. However battery technology generally still can’t handle the huge number of charges cycles needed for equipment that will need to be installed for decades. Two other types of storage, pumped hydro,compressed energy air storage, and molten salt for solar thermal can only be deployed in very specific geographic areas and aren’t a general solution.

Barnhart said: “I would like our study to be a call to arms for increasing the cycle life of electrical energy storage. It’s really a basic conservative principal: The longer something lasts, the less energy you’re going to use. You can buy a really well-made pair of boots that will last five years, or a shoddy pair that will last only one.”

  • “Renewable energy can never and will never be deployed at grid scale nationwide until sufficient capacity is available to store the energy until it is needed.”

    Strong words you seemingly contradict in the next paragraph “Currently, roughly 12.1 percent of the US’s energy comes from wind, solar and other renewable sources”.

    Maybe “grid scale nationwide” is some sort of carefully coded construct that has some meaning which you failed to define. Without that definition it appears that renewables already on the grid nation wide. What’s to stop renewables from increasing to 30% and then 50% and then 80% and then 120% and then 300% and letting the legacy power plants come on as needed acting very much like a battery? Problem solved. Never say never.

    And when renewables create over 100% of the electricity needed that overage will be used in the making of hydrogen or other fuels to be used in transportation and such…

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