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Energy Forum 35: Energy Storage in Electricity Production

Researchers
Prof. Gershon Grossman , Yigal Evron
Cite As:
Grossman Gershon , Evron Yigal . Energy Forum 35: Energy Storage in Electricity Production Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2015. https://www.neaman.org.il/EN/EF35-Energy-Storage-Electricity-Production

The electric power grid, by its nature, operates under unsteady conditions resulting from fluctuations in both power supply and demand. This results in difficulties in managing the grid. There are several ways to deal with such problems, the most immediate of which is the power utilities control mechanism which starts or shuts down different power stations that are available for the grid manager. This mechanism, however, does not address all the power fluctuations difficulties, for example frequency stabilization. Storing electrical energy is an excellent and convenient means of dealing with power fluctuations. In the power generation sector, energy storage helps to alleviate difficulties such as peak power demands, frequency stabilization, grid reserves, and supply reliability. In the power transmission sector, storage helps with difficulties regarding voltage stabilization, alleviating loads on transmission lines, and more. The distribution sector may also utilize energy storage to lower demands, decentralization, dealing with different rates at different hours, and supply reliability. This requires local storage, by the consumer, and not necessarily at the grid scale. In addition, energy storage has a critical role in utilization of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind which are unsteady by nature.

 

There are different means of storing energy, with the most suitable approach would be to use a mix of technologies. Some are suitable only in grid scale, like pumped hydro storage, while others are modular, for example batteries, and are applicable at different scales. Given that the primary energy source is usually heat, resulting from fuel burning or solar radiation, it is worthwhile to consider storing heat from which electricity would be produced according to demand, instead of producing electricity and storing it as such.

 

Energy storage plays an important role in the electricity sector and in energy conservation and environmental protection. Hence, storage should be regarded as important as renewable energy sources, and be incentivized appropriately.

 

According to data presented in this forum, as of August 2014, there is an installed global energy storage capacity of around 145 GW. Global hydro pumped storage constitutes more than 90% of this capacity. According to these figures, it can be concluded that around 1.8% of the global electricity production is complemented by storage. Besides hydro-pumped storage, other storage technologies include heat storage, fly wheel, compressed air, and electro-chemical methods, which include various types of batteries. In Israel, as in any country, there are many obstacles to implementation, not only financially, but also in terms of regulations. One of the issues dealt with globally is whether or not storage falls under the category of production.

 

Recommendations:

1. A national electric sector master plan is required, to set the goal, not only in terms of renewable energy, but also in terms of energy storage – determine the desired capacity.

2. Challenges regarding storage as a whole must be addressed, with an emphasis on decentralized storage through production facilities that include local storage capabilities.

3. Protocols and regulation must be set in place to establish how storage facilities are to be connected to the grid, and determine the efficiency of the systems to allow comparison between the various technologies.

4. It is recommended to start with small scale storage facilities, as was the case with photovoltaic systems which penetrated the electricity sector at a gradually increasing rate. There is no place for favoring a certain technology, but the play field must be defined flexibly to allow competition. And may the best technology win…

5.Engage in international opportunities, and how to promote Israeli companies in the international scene. Business options that could benefit the Israeli economy should be examined.

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Tags: Energy Forum