Energy storage is proving to be the best strategy for renewable energy production, and there is no need for more advanced technologies. If the existing sources are harnessed well, there won’t be any problems with electricity anymore.
Despite the massive demand for power, these storage systems can help to stabilize the supply and demand consistently. To achieve energy security battery systems need to be well integrated for grid support. Also, they can help fill gaps left by pumped hydro storage, especially in areas where it’s not feasible.
What are the Best Strategies for Consistent Renewable Energy?
Below are measures countries can implement to help deal with present energy challenges
- Increase Pumped Hydro Storage
The more hydro storage there is, the better. Currently, the buzz is about batteries, but this doesn’t mean that pumped hydro storage should be ignored. Even though the process is highly expensive, expanding this energy storage system will help steady safe, renewable energy. It’s one of the best strategies to help solve intermittency issues.
The main challenge traditional methods provide is emissions from burnt fossils and coal, which is harmful to the environment. Hydropower provides clean energy hence has more potential. All that governments need to do is identify more pumped hydro sites, and close down the coal-fired sites. This is possible if solar, and wind power also comes into play to make it 100% renewables.
Countries such as Australia that have thousands of pumped hydro sites are a good example of why no miracles are needed for renewable energy to succeed.
Hydropower has been in existence for decades, proving its reliability. With the advancement in technology, China, USA and Germany are set to increase their capacity through expansion of pumped hydro storages.
- Modify Existing Technology
Since most of these plants have been available for years, upgrading them can help increase their pumped storage potential. For instance, Norway and Spain are looking into improvising existing technologies as a way to increase their overall energy output.
Many other countries across the globe are following suit; identifying potential sites and building pumped hydro facilities. Energy systems Singapore is another great example. Imagine the potential worldwide if this energy were to be tapped. Clearly, no other advancements are necessary, if only these hydropower capacities are put to use.
- Diversify Energy Mix
Integration of both wind and solar power isn’t such a bad idea. If the goal is to transition from fossil fuels, the best alternatives are wind and solar. Most people view these two as different entities. That’s not the case because the sun plays a role in wind prevalence, creating an intimate connection between them. It shouldn’t be a competition or debate as to which of these energy sources is more powerful, but how they can be integrated well.
Both work well together and are the cleanest sources available. They complement each other. Solar peaks earlier in the day, while wind peaks much later, when the electricity demand is beginning to peak.
This hybrid strategy has been tried before in Australia, and it proved to be more beneficial. The installation costs of the wind-solar project were lower. A study revealed that the amount of energy emitting from this area that had both wind turbines and solar photovoltaic systems was twice as much. The wind turbines’ shade did not have a significant impact on energy output.
Isolated areas can opt to use this strategy integrating it with mini-grids instead of batteries since it is less costly. Using wind and solar separately is not sufficient enough. Previous experiments prove how efficient these sources are when integrated.
A smart strategy would be to add solar power to existing wind power sites, especially those that already have great solar resources. It will minimise the entire process of licencing and approvals. Local wind farms have high amounts of solar potential; hence such ideas should not be ignored.
- More Use of Thermal Storage
In scenarios where it’s practical, expanding thermal storage will help provide stable power during peaks. There is still room for more thermal storage if used efficiently. Combining it with solar power technology can provide excellent results as well.
The USA, Australia, and the Middle East have tried out the molten salt storage method, and it seems to be working well for concentrated solar power plants.
Thermal storage technology helps reduce electricity costs when applied to air conditioning systems. Another way to reduce energy consumption is through the use of solar water heaters.
- Grid-scale Batteries
Batteries are one of the best energy storage solutions because they are reliable, especially when integrated with electricity grids. Focusing on them is a brilliant idea. Even though they provide temporary solutions, their potential is worth investing in. They can be used in conjunction with pumped hydro for powerful sufficient storing.
To sum up, the growth of clean, renewable energy will help prevent dependency on nuclear and coal power. Energy storage makes renewable energy an excellent option to handle the load. The answer to energy solutions will not come from one source. Having one simple perspective underrated the potential that other sources provide. If these highlighted strategies are implemented, a steady supply of clean, renewable energy will no longer be a problem.