Energy Storage Crucial for Renewable Electricity
U.S. policymakers must focus more closely on developing new energy storage technologies as they consider a national renewable electricity standard, according to one of the principal recommendations in a newly released report, Integrating Renewable Electricity on the Grid, by the American Physical Society’s Panel on Public Affairs (POPA).
The report notes that as renewable generation grows it will ultimately overwhelm the ability of conventional resources to compensate renewable variability, and require the capture of electricity generated by wind, solar and other renewable energy sources for later use.
Therefore, while the report addresses variability and transmission issues, it also urges the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to increase research on materials to develop energy storage devices necessary to ease the burden on the grid. It also encourages the DOE to focus on long-distance superconducting direct current cables to bring renewable electricity to load centers, lessening the chance that power will be disrupted. The report also calls for examining renewable electricity in light of a unified grid instead of one that is fragmented and improving the accuracy of weather forecasts to allow for better integration of renewable electricity on the grid.
The APS report says the DOE should develop an overall strategy for energy storage in grid-level applications that provides guidance to regulators to recognize the value that energy storage brings to both transmission and generation services on the grid.
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