Tuesday Dec 06, 2022

Renewables at scale require long-duration energy storage – The Irish Times

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Energy costs and security of supply are now a staple in daily news coverage in a manner which has never been seen before. The ongoing conflict and the long overdue drive to cut carbon emissions and tackle global warming have forced crude oil prices to all-time highs and made jurisdictions across the world question their reliability on energy imports.

Throughout Europe, as countries sign up to producing at least 70 per cent of their energy from sustainable sources, energy policymakers, suppliers and consumers have been grappling with a new energy reality.

Renewable energy – whether from wind, solar or otherwise – is the obvious answer but its impact is curtailed by the variability of its supply. When the wind blows and the sun shines, supply soars and can easily meet domestic demand. However, during periods of low wind and cloud, renewable energy supply tails off sharply.

The answer is easy in theory though a little more complex in practice – store renewable energy at times of strong wind and sun for use at a later date when supply dips.

Known as long-duration energy storage, it is technology that will enable renewables to power our grids and, more importantly, accelerate decarbonisation, while also making countries more self-sufficient and less dependent on supplies from fossil fuel exporters.

However, if nations are to meet net zero carbon targets, effective deployment of long-duration energy storage is increasingly the key link in the chain, especially when renewables will soon be asked to guarantee supplies.

Defined

Long-duration energy storage is generally defined as any technology that can output stored energy at full capacity for longer than four hours. These solutions – some of which can store energy for weeks or months – are widely regarded as essential to decarbonisation.

Compressed air energy storage, which is being pioneered by Corre Energy, is a cost-effective solution using proven technology that promises to “flatten the energy supply curve”.

Compressed air and green hydrogen produced by wind turbines or solar panels is stored in underground salt caverns for up to 84 hours (three and a half days) with output capacities of 320MW. It means that at times of peak supply, gigawatt renewables can be fully integrated into grid systems before being released and converted to electricity for use at times of low supply.

Corre Energy, which is based in the Netherlands, listed on Euronext Dublin, and run by an Irish team, is the developer of long-duration energy storage (LDES) projects and products, accelerating the transition to net zero and enhancing the security and flexibility of energy systems.

Compressed air energy storage schemes are currently in development in the Netherlands and Denmark, with plans for additional schemes in Germany and further afield, including the US, Middle East, and southeast Asia. We believe that the development, construction and operation of grid-scale underground renewable energy storage, coupled with the production and sale of green hydrogen, can play a major role going forward.

The recent publication by the European Commission of a plan to make the EU independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030 – REPowerEU: Joint European action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy – lays out a pathway for the future of energy provision and use across the EU. It seeks to diversify gas supplies and to …….

Source: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/energy-and-resources/renewables-at-scale-require-long-duration-energy-storage-1.4842271

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