There is a great demand for energy storage today. Solar energy can only be collected during the daytime and therefore some of the energy generated during the daytime must be stored for night use. There are several efficient ways to store energy today, and different storage models have different advantages and disadvantages, but the most cost-effective way of storing energy today is through water.
Batteries are the most common principle of energy storage today. Lithium has a certain environmental impact, mainly in the manufacturing process. Therefore, there is not much that goes for that metal to provide the world with green energy storage.
Hydrogen is a very clean alternative that only needs items. solar energy and water to be manufactured. It is more expensive per stored kilowatt than Kinetic storage and battery storage. However, one of the benefits of hydrogen is that it is transportable to the place where it is needed. Ex. mining companies, factories, schools, etc. The infrastructure that is now being built is a so-called. Return system with tubes containing hydrogen.
Kinetic storage is a pure alternative compared to fossil fuels as an energy carrier. so pumped water is today the most cost-effective energy storage. What stops it is that it does not fit everywhere but the need exists for all green forms of energy storage.
Storage of pumped water is quite simple. The basic structure consists of an upper and a lower pond. From the upper pond, the water passes through a pipeline connected to a turbine generator, just as in all conventional hydroelectric power stations. The difference is that the turbine in a pumped storage facility can be transformed into a pump during the day to pump water back to the upper pond - for night use.
For pumped water storage of energy, there is a total storage potential of about 22 million GWh worldwide. These astonishing figures come from a report recently released by Professor Andrew Blakers and other researchers with the Australian National University's RE100 Group.
"Pumped water already accounts for 97% of electricity storage worldwide due to the low cost", says ANU, "and the proportion of wind and solar cells in the electricity grid is increasing significantly".
The huge storage potential is about a hundred times greater than what is needed to support a 100% global renewable electricity system, "says ANU. An approximate guide to the 100% renewable electricity storage requirements, based on analysis for Australia, is 1 GW of power per million people with 20 hours of storage, which equals 20 GWh per million people.
The concept has been developed by the Australian University and is based on small-scale PWS with a pair of reservoirs, separated by a height difference between 300 and 700 m, and connected by a pipe with a pump / turbine. Water circulates between the upper and lower containers in a closed loop to store and generate power. The stations can have a storage time of 4 to 20 hours and such a network of small-scale PWS provides sufficient storage capacity to stabilize the supply and ensure a stable supply from 100% renewable energy sources.
These smaller versions of PWS are mao. an inexpensive, reliable and sustainable alternative for energy storage. The only thing required is water and altitude difference. The method is thus dependent on the natural terrain, and works in naturally hilly regions.
Some energy companies have taken note of this and have developed these small PWS into a sustainable alternative for storage in areas with natural conditions. For example, the Swedish energy company Power One, which specialises in the electrification of Africa and its huge growth market in energy / stored energy. Now Power One is developing a combined integrated storage in both PWS and hydrogen for its projects in East Africa (Pilot area). In this way, cost-effectiveness will almost double, while Power-One can deliver energy both day and night to its customers.
Using the combination enables Power One to reach larger areas and markets for stored energy.
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