Integration Of Renewables Into Electricity Grid: How Can Energy Storage Help?


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Many scientists and officials are warning about the long-term ramifications of the continued usage of fossil fuels as the globe grapples with the effects of climate change. Engineers are focusing on energy storage to stimulate the use of renewable resources such as hydroelectric, solar, and wind. Energy storage, which is on pace to replace peaker plants, helps to address the major issue with wind and solar power: that they are intermittent and thus unreliable. 

What Is Energy Storage? 

Energy storage is not a brand-new concept. Batteries have been used since the 19th century, and pumped-storage hydropower was first used in the United States in the 1920s. Today, however, a growing number of consumers, governments, and climate activists are advocating for the widespread usage of clean energy. As a result, the number of energy storage initiatives has exploded, resulting in new and improved energy storage systems. Because it is dependent on weather conditions, solar and wind-generated energy is not constantly available in nature. When winter storms hit, solar electricity may become less available, but wind power may be harmed on calm summer days. As renewables are becoming more popular, and demand for them is only expected to grow, there is a growing interest in clean energy storage solutions. There are numerous methods for storing energy, each with its own set of disadvantages and benefits. Some of the most common ways of storing electricity are batteries with varied capacity, through pumps or by the means of compression.

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How Does Energy Storage Help?

While energy storage is seen as a possible enabler for reducing the intermittency and variability of wind and solar resources, it would have to be charged by low- or zero-emission or renewable sources of power to assure a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Energy storage can react to changes in energy demand, making grids more flexible and reducing the need for backup or greenhouse gas-producing power plants. During peak times, such as hot summer days when air conditioners are on or in the evening when more lights are turned on, energy storage allows buildings to reduce their demand from the grid. You may have noticed that your electricity costs more during peak periods; this is due to power plants having to ramp up production to meet the increased demand for energy. Energy storage allows distributors to buy electricity at off-peak hours, that is, when energy is cheap and then sell it when demand increases, hence lowering the prices.

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The Indian Outlook

Battery storage will be a critical technology option as India intends to integrate 300GW of solar capacity on its grid by 2030, allowing time to change the dispatch of solar and wind electricity. Solar generation peaks in the afternoon, when demand on the grid is lowest. A hybrid system combining solar, wind, and batteries have also been investigated as a way to deliver round-the-clock power. Battery storage technology, like solar and wind generation technology, has advanced dramatically. Globally, the cost of standalone Lithium-ion battery systems has decreased from $1,100 per kWh in 2010 to $137 per kWh in 2020. However, because India lacks a fully defined battery value chain, the cost deflation curve may be slightly flatter than in more developed economies such as the United States, Europe, Australia, and China.

Future Of Energy Storage

Some impediments are likely to hinder the commercialization of new energy storage technologies as they are studied and tested. Energy storage is costly, especially without rules that assign a monetary value to its distinct advantages. In addition, there is currently no requirement for increased storage capacity to ensure grid resilience. Storage is now difficult to be cost-effective without an operating need. Furthermore, except for pumped hydro, storage lacks a strong track record of large commercial-scale projects, making it difficult to deploy new projects. Energy storage technologies can continue to improve and expand with government and industry assistance, assisting in the rising deployment of variable renewable energy sources and helping to store an ever-growing amount of clean, renewable energy in the future.

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As different manufacturers enter the market and as the sector grows and matures, energy storage will continue to progress. With different approaches, innovations and features, storage methods will change over time. We can safely say and conclude that energy storage has a long way to go!

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