Yet more concrete-based electricity storage solutions via Iain Watt

Resource / Yet more concrete-based electricity storage solutions via Iain Watt

By Futures Centre / 18 May 2016

 

The oceans can also help us to store electricity – a key technology needed in a future world driven by a 100% renewable but fluctuating energy supply. This can be achieved by large hollow balls made of concrete situated on the ocean floor at great depths. Water is pumped out when excess electricity is available, and let back in through a turbine when power is needed. This works like pump storage on land – but many times more effectively due to the large water pressure available at the ocean floor. Prototypes of these devices are being built in Germany and the US.9

 

 

 

Another option is wind gas – using surplus electricity at offshore wind farms for first producing hydrogen from water through electrolysis, then combining it with CO2 from the air to make methane. While such uses of the oceans do not come free of environmental impacts (which need to be carefully evaluated), these are much smaller than those of a continuation of the fossil fuel age – both in direct impacts from offshore drilling in increasingly deep waters and the Arctic, and the indirect but pervasive double whammy of global warming and acidification.

 

 

 

[The reference (9) is to WGBU, Governing the Marine Heritage]

 

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