Batteries Can Play a Key Role in Transforming Renewable Energy

Batteries Can Play a Key Role in Transforming Renewable EnergyCalifornia is showing the way to the rest of the country in adopting renewable energy (with the pious objective of containing environmental degradation). Head to Southern California and you’re sure to come across rows of gleaming solar panels dotting the suburbia bordering almost all the prominent cities. However, there’s much going on behind the scenes and away from public view in the arena of renewable energy. Investments are being made for installing lithium ion batteries for lighting up warehouses, depots, industrial parks, and trailers in the largest state of USA.

Lithium ion batteries, it is expected, will be contributing massively towards enabling California to achieve its objective of driving 50% of electricity from renewable energy sources. There are some limitations or challenges that cannot be overcome when tapping renewable sources of energy. For instance, the sun or the wind cannot be switched on or off automatically.

Copious amounts of energy can be stored during a sunny or windy day but if in the absence of appropriate storage mediums or facilities, the surplus is wasted. Batteries can serve as reliable storage devices enabling utility firms to stock up on surplus electricity and make the most of it when it’s not sunny or windy. Energy storage analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Logan Goldie-Scot is of the opinion that reliability or consistency matters a lot to utility networks.

Copious amounts of energy can be stored during a sunny or windy day but if in the absence of appropriate storage mediums or facilities, the surplus is wasted. Batteries can serve as reliable storage devices enabling utility firms to stock up on surplus electricity and make the most of it when it’s not sunny or windy. Energy storage analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Logan Goldie-Scot is of the opinion that reliability or consistency matters a lot to utility networks.

California for the first time in 2013 made earnest efforts to stockpile up to 1,325MW of electricity by the end of this decade comparable to the maximum energy production capacity of two coal-based power plants. Presently, California contributes to nearly 36% of the entire nation’s storage potential and other states including Oregon and Massachusetts have set their respective targets, are trying to catch up fast. In the meantime, several cities and towns have announced plans to meet their electricity needs using renewable sources.

Utility companies, policymakers, and legislators are keeping track of the steps taken by California for tapping renewable energy sources and conserving the same. The state’s attempts to harness and store renewable will serve as a bellwether for other states thereby offering them the leeway to adjust and fine-tune the processes for extracting the optimum out of their setups. It is expected that more homes and businesses will use batteries for preserving energy amassed via solar panels and tap it, especially when electricity prices are steep.

The more commercial and domestic fronts use lithium-ion batteries for conserving solar or wind energy, the lesser will be the burden on utility companies to generate electricity. If a Deloitte report is to be believed, 25% firms in California are already using batteries for catering to their electricity requirements. The demand for batteries is anticipated to go up tremendously once laws and regulations that facilitate owners (of batteries that are) to resell storage are in place.

In the present scenario, there are two crucial aspects impinging on the green or renewable energy storage mediums. The first is, to what extent the demand for different storage devices will grow and the second is whether Li-ion batteries will continue to be most popular units for conserving electricity.

Picture Credit: Skitterphoto

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