What is energy storage, and how can this contribute to large-scale integration of renewable energy?
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Energy represents a very formative need in the world today, produced mainly from fossil resources with consequences as climate change, community interference, and worries about limited energy reserves. Hence, renewable energy has become ever more interesting over the last decades, offering a solution to these problems. A significant increase in installed capacity throughout the world has given these resources ever more confidence among people. Yet, new challenges have raised with the increasing exploitation of renewables. Two are intermittent power supply and distant location far from central areas. Thus, the concept of energy storage has become more interesting the last decades, being considered one of the main solutions to these problematic issues of renewable energy. In this thesis several energy storage technologies are introduced, with existing or future large-scale storage potential as their common characteristic. Important issues as cost, storage capacity and flexibility are evaluated, reckoned as the basic characteristics of an ES facility. Costs are assessed more detailed, considered the most crucial factor in a A scenario analysis is used to assess high and low cost scenarios for a 50 MW wind/ES power plant. This is a common procedure to account for the uncertainty in the future of these immature technologies. The analysis confirms the fact that the mature technologies are the low-cost options for both scenarios. Though, optimistic prognosis for the developing potential of the immature technologies makes them good future candidates for the application of renewable energy integration. The findings underline the importance of energy storage to solve the challenges of intermittent nature and restricted locations following renewables. Though this can’t solely solve these challenges, it is a great helping hand for handling them.
Master's thesis in Industrial economics