Sustainable Energy Storage
One of the most dire and challenging crises faced by the human race today is the complete reliance on the generation of artificial power and energy in order to fuel the world and its daily functioning. The main problem is that the fossil fuels commonly used for these efforts are beginning to run out and prove themselves quite unsustainable. In response, of course, natural, renewable, and sustainable sources of energy have been identified for the purpose of alternative power generation. While these have met with some success, the new challenge now is to find ways of storing energy from sources like the wind and sun, which are intermittent. The main reason for such storage would be the fact that the greatest need for energy is not necessarily in tandem with when the wind or sun is at its highest.
The main problem associated with this is that the grid has to turn away power from intermittent sources when such...
In this way, huge amounts of energy that could have relieved the burden on traditional power sources is simply lost. Wind farms, for example, generate revenue for power that is generated but not used when it is turned away by the grid. This is not conducive to a cost-effective environment.
To remedy this, Smedley (2014) suggests effective energy storage, which is a challenge by itself, since many storage technologies today are simply not advanced enough or big enough to store the amount of power that is being lost. Batteries, for example, can only store small amounts of power, while electric vehicles would need to be too numerous to be an effective solution for the current situation. The most popular current idea is pumped hydro. In this form of energy storage, excess energy is used to pump water along a slope, while the water is released downhill again when energy is required. The challenged associated with this is that the environment needs to be very specifically suitable, as in a very large area that includes hills and space for lakes.
Smedley (2014) offers a fourth solution, which is the use of electrolysis in water to transform excess electricity into hydrogen gas, which would be renewable. The author notes that, in the UK, a new system has been created by which the high intensity of energy usually required to create hydrogen is mitigated by…
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