A new technology that stores energy in heavy oil formations has been granted a patent in Canada.
The method to store variable wind and solar power as heat in heavy oil formations, including oil sands and oil shale, was awarded to PyroPhase Inc. Critics say that one of the reasons renewables are so costly is down to the reserve plants needed in case of intermittency. This new technology claims to change this.
The method uses variable and off-peak power because it stores radio-frequency energy as heat. PyroPhase claim the method provides a market for wind and solar power to meet carbon reduction targets.
PyroPhase say that because the method uses power whenever it is available and is interruptible, it stabilizes the electric grid and therefore compensates for fluctuations in wind and solar power.