We just got some massive news in the ongoing effort to switch to renewable sources of energy: scientists have discovered 530,000 sites around the world, suitable for pumped hydro energy storage, capable of storing more than enough energy to feed the entire planet.
Pumped-hydro with a & # 39 is one of the best technologies that we have to store intermittent renewable energy sources such as solar energy, which means these sites can act as a giant battery, helping to maintain a cheap, fully renewable power.
Currently, only sites were identified by the algorithm, etc., in the field of research should be done. But it was supposed to have been previously limited only suitable sites around the world, and that we will not be able to store a sufficient amount of high demand for renewable energy in the course of time – that this research shows is not so.
Added together, these hundreds of thousands of websites have the ability to store about 22000000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy. This is more than enough to get the whole planet working on renewable energy sources, which is a & # 39; is where we want to get.
"Only a small fraction of the 530,000 potential sites we have identified the need to support 100 percent renewable power in the global system," says one of the researchers who participated in the survey, Matthew stem from the Australian National University (ANU).
"We have determined so many potential places that will be needed is much less than the top 1 percent. Perception has been limited areas for pumping hydro around the world, but we found a hundred thousand. "
Sites identified will rely mainly on solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind power to pump water uphill when many renewables. If energy is needed, water is released and destroyed under the influence of gravity to drive turbines and generate electricity. A lot of fossil fuels will not be released in the process.
These short-term pumped hydro energy storage (Shopping) off-road sections of the river have been identified using a combination of algorithms work on geographical data – these algorithms represent large areas can be combed for potential sites much faster.
In areas with plenty of space, suitable terrain, as well as the correct height variation were identified algorithms.
The shops areas, some still need to be properly evaluated in terms of ownership of the land and any specific technology or environmental problems, they might imagine. You can see the full map sites here.
A couple of years ago, the same group found 22,000 store sites in Australia. In this new study, they expanded the analysis throughout the world, as well as adjusting the algorithms used to find sites with the top and bottom layers, as well as a potential path for connecting tunnel.
The latter finding has not yet been published, but the same algorithm has been peer-reviewed and published in the last year.
With the adjusted algorithms, only 3,000 of the best Australian sites made the cut – so we are talking about 527 000 places all over the rest of the globe. With proper development, we could meet our needs renewable energy sources many times.
The team loaded the information about their work and maps showing the location of sites on a dedicated website. None of the potential sites are located in national parks and urban areas, and each of them has the potential to hold 2-150 GW of energy.
What makes the energy storage is pumped hydro is so attractive that it can be adapted to change the requirement of electricity. The water stored in the reservoir can be released as and when needed – for example, when a lot of energy is required, or when solar and wind technology does not produce enough power.
If the requirements are lower, the water can be dropped into the reservoir uphill using excess power generated by wind and sun, and stored for further use.
Many cooling water is not required as in fossil fuel systems, which means that the plant itself need electric power is reduced, and, of course, no greenhouse gas emissions. Impact on the environment is maintained to a minimum as it does not provide any natural river systems.
Scientists say that sites such as the ones that are labeled can operate at maximum power for 5 to 25 hours. There is another advantage of this type of hydroelectric power systems, as well: it can start quickly.
"Pumping-hydro energy storage can go from zero to full power very quickly – it takes just a few minutes," says one of the team, Andrew Blekers with Ana.
"Pumping HPP is 97 percent of the energy storage in the world, has a typical service life of 50 years and a & # 39 is a low-cost large scale energy storage technologies available."
Earlier, team work on Australian sites has been published in the journal Applied Energy.