Union rural development and panchayati raj minister Giriraj Singh told a recent conference that India was increasing its reliance on renewable energy, with plans to supply 50% of needs the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In addition, with the Paris Agreement of 2015, countries around the world are placing renewable energy at the heart of their environmental strategies to achieve net zero emissions. 2050.
But accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to renewables requires a solid technological infrastructure. A major challenge in the face of this change is energy storage. As there is an increasing emphasis on low-emission sources of electricity generation, there is a growing need to balance fluctuations in demand and supply.
While pumped hydro storage has been at the forefront of energy storage worldwide, it is rapidly losing attention given its geographic and environmental constraints. This paved the way for new technologies such as battery storage, which have become an essential element to better integrate huge volumes of variable renewable energy.
So what is battery storage?
Battery storage, also known as battery energy storage systems (BESS), stores and releases energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind. It allows consumers to consume a higher percentage of self-generated renewable energy. This minimizes the need to feed additional electricity back into the grid and helps balance generation variability.
A steady increase in economic viability has introduced new uses for battery storage. These systems can also support the integration of additional low-carbon energy, heat and transport technologies. Additionally, they help companies move away from fossil fuels and optimize their energy consumption in a more commercially feasible way.
Here are some other ways renewables are powering battery storage technologies:
Longer life cycle
The introduction of the lithium battery and continued improvement in battery technology has reduced energy density. This has improved its life cycle and revolutionized the renewable energy industry globally.
Although solar, wind and tidal energy are clean and renewable, they all have one major drawback: they are not available all the time. For example, to generate solar power, you need to pass sunlight through the grid, which you can only do during the day. Battery storage reduces the reliability of the grid power system. It stores excess energy, allowing you to use it whenever you need it. On days when your system is not producing the required amount of power, you can draw it from the storage battery instead of the grid.
Less dependence on power grids
Battery storage saves solar power generation costs compared to utility companies. Indeed, you can install the storage system locally. This eliminates power losses due to distribution and maintenance and reduces power dependency of Discoms. Sharing power among multiple users via blockchain systems will further enhance self-reliability.
Integrates multiple variable resources
Energy storage integrates various resources and facilitates smooth delivery of variable resources like wind or solar, by storing excess energy. It also supports efficient power delivery for inflexible and basic resources. When there are rapid fluctuations in demand and flexibility is needed, battery storage can extract or inject energy to meet the required load. This makes it a crucial component when your core resources cannot react quickly.
Therefore, to conclude, solar power generation cost will be cheaper with battery storage system. It can even compete with established utility companies. Moreover, with a local storage system and zero power loss for distribution and maintenance, users can become self-sufficient in the future.
A renewable energy system with storage solutions will also allow users to share electricity among themselves and free themselves from dependence on distribution companies. Maintaining cables from hundreds of kilometers, controlling power distribution and sustaining losses will be challenges of the past.
Moreover, for the growing electric vehicle industry, this system is a must. Without solar storage solutions for charging stations, we will be entirely dependent on the depletion of fossil fuels, which will reduce long-term sustainability.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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