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Energy storage really the talk of the RE town at the moment


Following on from my post on electricity storage from yesterday, the Renewable Energy World site included three articles on storage in their mailer this morning.

Sitting at the Tip of the Iceberg: The Huge Potential of Energy Storage (found here), where they estimate that “the U.S. energy storage market will grow to 1.7 gigawatts in 2017 and should hit 2.5 GW by 2020.”  This is largely driven by targets set in California where it has been mandated that “the state’s utilities procure 1.325 GW of storage by 2020.”

In Hawaii’s Solar Conundrum: Can Energy Storage Save the Day? they describe how Hawaii is alsolooking into storage quite actively (article found here), where they have “opened bidding for one of the largest energy storage projects in the country: a 60- to 200-megawatt storage project to help manage solar power within the Oahu island grid by 2017.”

And finally, Energy Storage: A Different View from Germany (found here) talks on how Germany is looking into “three main categories: power to heat, power to gas (specifically hydrogen) and power to power, which can utilize a range of storage technologies, including electrochemical (batteries), mechanical or thermal.”

It’s no surprise that all three of these articles focus on areas where there is a high penetration of solar technologies, and there is likely to be even more interest in solar going forward.  
It’s good news for South Africa that R&D in the States and in Germany is a priority at the moment.  Innovations and breakthroughs in this field can have massive implications for a country with solar irradiance like ours, where baseload is considered to be so important.