The thing about renewable energy is that the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow, and tides don’t always flow.
Yet, Nova Scotians need electricity all the time.
We need a way to store the energy when plenty is being produced so we can access it during those times when not enough is being produced.
There are many storage and reconversion options available for electricity. These include:
- electrochemical —conventional batteries (lead acid, lithium ion, and others), flow batteries
- chemical—hydrogen storage and fuel cell systems
- electrical—large capacitors, which hold an electrical charge for later use
- Flywheel—energy is stored in rotating mass and quickly released back to the grid when needed
- Compressed air energy systems—air is compressed and stored, then later released to turn a turbine that produces electricity
- Pumped-hydro storage—water is pumped to a higher elevation and stored in a hydro reservoir
- Hydroelectric systems that include large dams where water can be trapped and stored until it is needed
- thermal—electric thermal storage units, phase change materials, underground seasonal thermal storage systems, district heating, and hot water storage tanks