Monday, May 2, 2016

Pumped hydro energy storage has excellent potential in EU

Pumped hydro energy storage refers to a type of energy storage which uses electric power systems for load balancing. The operating principle is very easy: in periods of low electrical demand, excess generation capacity is used to pump water into the higher reservoir, and in periods with higher demand, water is released back into the lower reservoir through a turbine, generating electricity.

The latest study conducted by the eStorage Project, a European Commission-funded consortium of major players in Europe’s electric power sector, revealed that there is an immense potential of usable pumped hydro energy in EU.

It has been estimated that there is 2,291GWh of development-ready sites with existing reservoirs for new pumped hydro energy storage plants in Europe, with half of them being in Southern Norway. Other notable sites include the Alps accounting for 303GWh, and the Pyrenees with 118GWh.

The total estimated number is seven times the current installed capacity of pumped hydro energy storage in Europe so this is certainly a valuable data for many EU countries to think about.

Unlike many other energy storage technologies pumped hydro energy storage plants are cost-effective solution because they apply the simple principle of transferring water between two reservoirs at different elevations as already stated above.

Improved energy storage together with global renewable energy development are the two foundations on which future global energy supply should be built if we really want to step away from fossil fuels and ensure energy security of the entire world in years to come.