The energy systems of the future will rely on renewable generation, with low-cost wind and solar providing the bulk of the world’s electricity production.
But these generation technologies pose a problem for the grid: they cannot be ramped up and down as needed to keep track of changes in electricity demand. Instead, they are only available when the wind blows and the sun shines. This intermittency poses two problems for today’s grids.
One is how to provide energy to tide over extended periods where there is little wind or sunshine. The answer to this lies in using alternative low-carbon energy sources such as hydro, biomass and, in future, green hydrogen or synthetic fuels. More immediately, however, grid operators and renewable energy generators face a challenge because solar and wind production rarely matches demand even on an hour-by-hour or minute-by-minute basis. This guide aims to show how battery storage can help overcome this issue.