Energy storage at the very core of the new energy system. This statement was made during the 4th Energy summit in Brussels 12th April 2018.
We could not agree more. There are already many examples of negative energy prices, where the grid overproduced energy and then the producers paid consumers to use the surplus energy.
Essentially this negative price is an issue originating from the high, although infrequent and intermittent, production of clean energy (wind, water and sun).
How to create continuous availability of clean energy sources?
There are several means to store energy.
We could use batteries, like Tesla is doing, however such batteries still have a carbon-footprint given the materials used to construct them, and there is the problem of their eventual disposal.
Hydrogen cells could be a solution as well.
More and more households have their own solar power and heat-pump solutions, and some even operate a small windmill. However, these are used to reduce their consumption and dependence on the main grid. The possibility exists of course, that the household electricity surplus could be sold back to the provider.
But will this not create the same negative price issue further down the chain?
Now, what if a regional centre could be built, into which this household surplus is re-routed using smart grids, smart meters and smart contract solutions?
Cities and communities could invest in hydrogen storage and combustion sites next to solar and wind farms, or even convert existing sites.
Hydrogen could either be acquired from larger sites (like our Wind-Dam) or produced onsite if there were an ample water supply. The hydrogen could be produced and stored when households have an energy surplus i.e. sell electricity to produce and store hydrogen. The stored hydrogen could then be converted into electricity when there is a local demand for extra energy.
For example, households could build up an electricity credit for what they provided to the regional centre and use that credit when they need extra electricity, or for other utilities – water, telecommunications and even environmentally friendly transportation solutions like electric car rental services.
This suggests the founding of an “IT” platform in which the demand and supply between consumers and producers, either households or companies, are managed and properly regulated by EU directives.
Store hydrogen and design a truly reliable wind energy system? The Wind-Dam may be a solution for that!