Combining Multiple Energy Sources

With incredibly quick rise of Tesla, battery storage as a source of energy has quickly become a topic of discussion. Last week two energy companies announced their plans to combine battery power with solar and wind power to provide consistent energy to Australia. Australia is heavily dependent on the use of fossil fuels, 63% of energy use comes from coal, and is in need of alternate forms of energy. Combining battery, wind and solar energy is believed to be advantageous because it is more resilient and more adaptable than single source energy. For example, it can produce more energy during prolonged periods of cloudiness or low wind speeds.

Another company in the United States is attempting to something similar by combining battery storage with hydro-dams. Hydro plants store great amounts of energy, however they have slow response times; battery storage units have much faster response times. The main disadvantage with batteries is they have smaller storage capacities but the hydro plants will compensate.”By combining generation with storage, we can take advantage of the beneficial performance characteristics — fast response, fast ramp rate, low O&M costs, zero emissions — while using the generation asset to address the constraint posed by storage’s limited energy duration,” Combining battery storage with other forms of clean energy can potentially be an excellent way to maximize our energy efficiency while minimizing the trade-offs that result from using clean energy. We are continuing to learn more and more about batteries and it will be interesting to see their capabilities once they’ve reached their full potential.

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