Thursday, December 26, 2013

Giant ‘Battery’ Can Store Renewable Energy

Smøla Wind Farm is a 68 turbine wind farm located on the island of Smøla in Norway. Researchers say energy from surplus wind power will provide “battery” power to even out energy supply & demand. (Credit: Flickr/Statkraft) Click to enlarge.
A northern European offshore power grid is being developed to link wind farms and carry the electricity to population centers where it is needed in Sweden, Denmark and Germany.  But the key problem remains how to maintain a regular supply of energy.

If the existing Norwegian hydropower schemes were refurbished and updated and connected to the same grid, they could act as a giant “blue-green battery” for the system and provide all the necessary backup power, according to SINTEF, the largest independent Scandinavian research organization.

The potential for wind power in northern Europe is huge.  There are already 3.8 gigawatts of installed wind power, replacing four coal-fired power plants.  According to the European Union, this is expected to rise to 150 gigawatts between 2030 and 2050, the equivalent of 150 medium-sized coal-fired power stations.

Giant ‘Battery’ Can Store Renewable Energy

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