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Energy Storage

Energy Storage

The term “Holy Grail” has often used been used to describe energy storage. And while it’s still too early to make that assertion with any certainty, the ability to store energy and then use it at a later time has significant potential to transform today’s electricity system and to generate big revenue for the companies supplying the solutions.

Energy Storage

When people think of energy storage, they automatically think of batteries. It’s to be expected, they are its most common form. But energy storage comes in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as technologies from chemical to mechanical to compressed air and other more established methods like pumped hydro. This mix of technologies also means that some are better suited for certain applications than others.

Energy Storage

When one thinks of energy storage, they may think of batteries, the chemical kind like lead acid or even lithium ion. They take a charge and then discharge the stored energy over a certain period of time, sometimes measured in hours. But for shorter charge-discharge cycles that can be measured in multiple times per minute or even within a second, flywheels like the ones developed and manufactured by Toronto-based Temporal Power get the job done.

Energy Storage

Remote communities, whether they be First Nations, mining or northern, are all suffering from their reliance on diesel-generated electricity. However, there is a solution that will not only allow these offgrid communities to kick the diesel habit but also gain some economic control. Vancouver-based American Vanadium says it has the answer: combine renewables with its vanadium flow batteries and they could significantly reduce their reliance on diesel.

Energy Storage

We know energy storage works. What we don’t know, however, is the impact that energy storage can have on the broader electricity system, particularly if the amount of energy being stored is considerable compared to the size of the grid. This is where the wind energy storage demonstration project being conducted by Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan) is hoping to prove crucial to that understanding.

Energy Storage

Building a business case to deploy energy storage in remote communities almost always relying on diesel-based electricity may seem like an easy thing to do, but it’s not. In fact, it’s a rather complex undertaking. First you have to get passed the economics, essentially the high cost of implementing such systems, and then you have to provide some economic development benefit to the communities themselves.

Energy Storage

The combination of renewable energy generation and energy storage technologies represents a viable option for northern and remote communities to kick the diesel fuel habit, according to panelists on a session of energy solutions for the north at the recent Northern Lights 2014 conference and trade show.

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News, information and analysis of the regulatory, policy, business development and technology advancement spheres of renewable energy, smart grid, clean transportation, carbon capture and storage, and energy efficiency.

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