Due to growing concerns about the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and the capacity and resilience of energy grids around the world, engineers and policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to energy storage solutions. Indeed, energy storage can help address the intermittency of solar and wind power; it can also, in many cases, respond rapidly to large fluctuations in demand, making the grid more r
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In response to increased State goals and targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, meet air quality standards, and achieve a carbon free grid, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), with authorization from the California legislature, continues to evaluate options to achieve these goals and targets through several means including through energy storage procurement.
Emerging storage facilities will allow us to store energy generated from wind and solar resources on shorter time frames to smooth variability, and on longer cycles to replace ever more fossil fuel. By charging storage facilities with energy generated from renewable sources, we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels.
The largest of the current renewable energy storage projects utilizing hydrogen that are currently in operation are facilities located in Germany at Grapzow  in the province of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and in Falkenhagen  in Brandenburg. Both systems are coupled to a wind farm and utilize electrolyzers supplied by Hydrogenics and are in collaboration with the utility company E.ON. The 1 MW Grapzow electrolyzer is capable of producing 210 Nm3 of hydrogen per hour. This hydrogen can be directed to either an internal combustion engine to generate electricity or injected into the local gas network. The Falkenhagen system consists of a 2 MW electrolyzer and can supply up to 360 Nm3 of hydrogen for storage in the gas network. There are a number of comprehensive reviews of the coupling of electrolysis systems to renewable energy sources which give further details on a number of additional projects [83,84]. All projects at this stage can be considered as demonstration projects—showcasing technology and enabling further understanding of operational parameters in a live environment prior to scaleup to full commercial status.
A new report from Navigant Research examines the use of energy storage for wind integration, covering existing and upcoming projects, the competitive landscape, and expected market growth.
The effect that fossil fuels are having on the climate emergency is driving an international push to use low-carbon sources of energy. At the moment, the best options for producing low-carbon energy on a large scale are wind and solar power.
The science of renewable energy is remarkable—the ability to harness nature to magically power our modern world is a seductive vision. And yet, the actual business of renewable energy is late to establish itself as a viable competitor to the petrochemical industry. The problem is rooted in cost parity and the challenges of production, storage, and disposal (Figure 1). To use the industry’s fancier and totally sensible term, it’s the math of levelized cost of energy (LCOE) that we can’t figure out.
Energy storage is the capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time. A device that stores energy is generally called an accumulator or battery. Energy comes in multiple forms including radiation, chemical, gravitational potential, electrical potential, electricity, elevated temperature, latent heat and kinetic. Energy storage involves converting energy from forms that are difficult to store to more conveniently or economically storable forms.