Full Title: Energy Storage Technologies & Their Role in Renewable Integration
Author(s): Andreas Oberhofer
Publisher(s): Global Energy Network Institute
Publication Date: 7/2012
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Today’s world is at a turning point. Resources are running low, pollution is increasing and the climate is changing. As we are about to run out of fossil fuels in the next few dec- ades, we are keen to find substitutes that will guarantee our acquired wealth and further growth on a long term basis. Modern technology is already providing us with such alternatives like wind turbines, photovoltaic cells, biomass plants and more. But these technologies have flaws. Compared to traditional power plants they produce much smaller amounts of electricity and even more problematic is the inconsistency of the production. The global demand for electricity is huge, and it’s growing by approximately 3.6 percent annually, but the sun isn’t always shining nor is the wind always blowing. For technical reasons, however, the amount of electricity fed into the power grid must always remain on the same level as demanded by the consumers to prevent blackouts and damage to the grid. It leads to situations where the production is higher than the consumption or vice versa. This is where storage technologies come into play — they are the key element to balance out these flaws.