Why Energy Storage?
Battery is the powerhouse of the future. To understand energy storage’s role in the future, let’s talk about the present.
Our Fossil Fuel Dependence
The world’s energy is supplied predominantly by fossil fuels. In 2018, coal, natural gas, and oil supplied around 86% of the total primary energy consumed globally.
Fossil fuels release carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases during combustion, exacerbating global warming. In 2019, energy-related CO2 emissions reached 33.3 Gt. The limited availability of fossil fuels, our ever-growing appetite for energy, and rising environmental concerns have encouraged the deployment of renewable sources, such as solar and wind energy. A global energy transition is underway with increasing efforts allocated to shifting away from fossil fuels for a low-carbon energy system.
The Challenges of Intermittent Renewable Sources
The power generated from renewable sources, however, is not available 24/7 and fluctuates depending on the amount of e.g. sunlight or wind. This ‘intermittency’ causes a mismatch between the timing of energy supply and demand.
The mismatch between the timing of energy generation and demand is problematic for integrating renewable sources into our energy generation system. Our energy infrastructure was designed for generating and distributing electricity from non-intermittent sources, such as fossil fuels, which can be dispatched whenever to meet fluctuating demand.
The grid that connects generation units to consumers has limited storage capacity and is carefully managed to ensure a balance (the amount of electricity fed into the grid corresponds to the amount consumed at all times) to avoid damaging the grid and causing power failures.
However, renewable sources are non-dispatchable, they cannot be turned up or down, on or off. This makes delivering energy on demand a challenge, and results in:
- overloading the grid during times of excess generation,
- inadequate power supply when demand exceeds supply,
which render the grids unstable and hinder a reliable supply of electricity.
The Role of Energy Storage
Energy storage technologies, such as batteries, can overcome the inherent intermittency of energy supplied from renewable sources by storing the excess and delivering it on demand. Battery storage can be used in various applications. Large-scale/grid-scale battery storage systems are installed for utility-scale applications or the transmission and distribution networks. While smaller-scale storage can be applied for behind-the-meter applications and provide services for industrial, commercial, and residential customers. One size does not fit all, and the opportunities and benefits of energy storage greatly depend on the type of system chosen and its application.
The Benefits of Energy Storage
Buffering unpredicted peak of generation so the grid is not overloaded.
Optimize the grid
Balance the supply and demand real-time and reduce loses.
Providing backup power (e.g. for critical sites and systems such as hospitals, telecommunications).
Increase renewable integration
Storage provides flexibility to the grid, facilitating the integration of more renewable sources.
Replace energy from the grid by storing overproduced energy for consumers that want to go off-grid or lower their reliance on utility providers.
Reduce energy cost
Utilize the maximum of the energy you produce; defer costly investments in upgrading grid connection.
We are in the midst of a drastic transformation in the way we manage and consume energy. Energy storage technologies, such as batteries, will become increasingly important in ensuring a reliable supply of power in a future powered by more and more renewable sources. By 2024, global energy storage deployments could grow a thirteen-fold to 158 GWh from 12 GWh in 2018.
The next challenge is to develop affordable and environmentally friendly batteries for the world.
At Terrabattery, we are passionate about building a sustainable future by providing a non-toxic and completely recyclable battery! If you would like to know more, visit our website or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!