The transition to renewable power will help reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, but it will place tremendous strain on the grid. The greatest available solution to this challenge may be new, grid-scale storage initiatives.
The most common kinds of renewable energy, unlike fossil fuel-fired power facilities, cannot dynamically adjust production to meet consumption. Even in locations with significant renewable energy production, production is unable to match demand. As renewables become increasingly widespread, the appearance of “duck curves” could become a concern in most of the country.
The significant adoption of clean energy in California, for example, has resulted in the formation of an atypical net load curve.
At certain seasons of the year, this load curve dips dramatically between midmorning and midafternoon before swiftly ramping up until peak demand hours at night. Netload fluctuations can put a burden on grid infrastructure.
By using long-duration ESS, grid managers may be able to address these issues with renewables. Grid operators can combine huge batteries or CAES technology to boost grid capacity. As the globe transitions away from fossil fuel energy, different energy storage technologies will almost certainly be required.
Many big producers are also at the forefront of emerging technologies that have the potential to enhance long-duration ESS or facilitate new methods. Last year, Honeywell revealed the development of a new flow power pack for long-duration ESS. It can store and discharge energy for up to 12 hours.
Government actions may also contribute to long-term ESS development. The DOE has received $1.16 billion in support for its Long Duration Storage Shot initiative. This effort intends to lower the cost of energy storage devices by 90% for installations with a duration of 10 hours or more within the next decade.
Grid operators are also exploring decentralized energy storage in addition to massive, centralized energy storage installations. However, infrastructure is inadequate and can only handle a limited number of power plants.