Renewables need energy storage to avoid waste

Calls for better energy storage have been made following a report from the Renewable Energy Foundation which revealed energy companies were paid £890,000 to stop wind turbine energy production across […]

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By Tom Gibson

Calls for better energy storage have been made following a report from the Renewable Energy Foundation which revealed energy companies were paid £890,000 to stop wind turbine energy production across six Scottish wind farms on the 5th and 6th of April 2011.

Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM power said: “As more intermittent renewable power is assimilated into the network, these events will increase in frequency. An example is Denmark where 20% of the generating capacity is wind but only a few % of the demand can be met with that wind power, the rest has to be exported to Sweden or Norway or wasted.”

On the 5th and 6th of April the National Grid became “unbalanced due to an excess of wind and hydro energy”, which resulted in the Grid paying the generating companies to stop generation.

A transmission fault in the grid meant that the energy could not be transferred to England, as would have happened normally.

A spokesman for DECC added: “In future we need greater electrical energy storage facilities…so that energy supplies can be sold or bought where required.”

ITM power, the energy storage and clean fuel company, welcomed DECC’s criticism. The company are themselves calling for technologies such as their energy-storing Hfuel to receive more support.

Hfuel uses hydrogen electrolysis and storage to help manage the grid. This effectively means renewable energy production can go on uninterrupted, helping lower emissions.