Full Title: Pump It Up: Recommendations for Urgent Investment in Pumped Storage Hydropower to Back the Clean Energy Transition
Author(s): International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower (IFPSH)
Publisher(s): International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower (IFPSH)
Publication Date: September 16, 2021
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Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) works on a simple principle. At times of low demand when electricity prices tend to be lower water is pumped from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir, and then released at times of high demand to drive a turbine and generate electricity. Today, in 2021, it is the dominant form of energy storage on electricity grids across the globe, providing daily, weekly, and seasonal storage, with over 160GW of installed generating capacity and around 9,000GWh of energy stored.
As the world relies more and more on variable sources of electricity like solar PV and wind, the demand for energy storage will grow. Even conservative estimates of the level of variable renewable deployment predict a ten–fold increase. To keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, many international organizations foresee significantly more deployment.
However, variable generation places new demands on grids.
No two electricity markets are identical –different mixes of energy resources, regulatory frameworks, market structures and historical characteristics mean that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to securing the place of long duration storage technologies like PSH. However, this report identifies key recommendationsthat are applicable in many contexts.