Hydropower “Battery” Could Even Out Wind Energy Supply
Norwegian hydropower stations could be linked to wind farms and serve as giant “batteries” to even out power supply fluctuations, a Scandinavian research organization says.
A major hurdle for renewable energy suppliers is intermittent power production — sometimes too much power is generated, other times too little, and periods of peak demand often don’t coincide with periods of peak supply.
By using excess electricity from windy periods to pump water uphill into reservoirs, hydroelectric power stations could smooth out the intermittent power supplied by large wind farms, Scandinavian researchers from the firm SINTEF say.
At times of low wind energy supply, the stored water could be released through dam turbines and hydroelectricity would fill the gap. The plan requires updating and refurbishing existing Norwegian hydropower plants, which could increase their output potential by 11 to 18 gigawatts, enough to provide an adequate backup power supply. Wind energy will be a key component of cutting EU carbon emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.
photo: Bjarte Hoff.
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