Longterm Storage Is Not An Issue – It never has been for renewable energy

This is actually part of a lecture that I give to college students called the Myths of Global Warming. The point of it is that Global Warming is indeed happening and at an accelerated pace. The point is that there have been myths erected like barricades that defend the use of fossil fuels. Here is a high tech version.


Posted by: Joseph Romm

Lauren Simenauer is a former intern with Science Progress, and Sean Pool is Assistant Editor of Science Progress. This piece was originally published at Science Progress.

Super Hot Salt: The Newest Energy Storage Innovation?

Policymakers and energy industry experts often talk about clean energy as though it isn’t reliable. In fact, while an MIT study recently found the existing grid would probably be up to the challenge of absorbing clean energy, intermittency does present a real challenge that renewables must address to get to high levels of penetration.

But BrightSource Energy, a major player in the market for concentrating solar power, or CSP, recently announced the installation of new thermal energy storage technology at three of its planned power plants in California. This thermal energy storage technology will go a long way toward solving the intermittency problem for concentrating solar power. BrightSource’s announcement demonstrates that we can in fact get reliable baseload power from the sun [or, even better, load-following power].

The thermal energy storage systems, built using SolarPLUS technology, work by using hundreds of parabolic mirrors to concentrate the rays of the sun on a tank of molten salts, heating the salts to several hundred degrees above the boiling point of water. The superheated salt is then stored in a giant insulated container until the power plant needs to add additional output, at which point it can use the heat stored in the molten salt to boil water to create steam to drive its turbines.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


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