Novel technologies for wind energy storage at EWEA 2014 included the GE Power & Water brilliant turbine, understood to have been installed by Invenergy. Photo credit: General Electric
Three novel ways to store wind energy went on show at the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) 2014 annual meeting held in Barcelona, Spain, last week.
Two, aimed at short-term and longer-term storage respectively, were discussed during a hardware technology session that also looked at grid integration. The third, involving hydraulic storage, was among the poster presentations featured in the exhibition.
In the hardware technology session, Rajni Burra of GE Power & Water in the US shared the early operational experience of GE’s Brilliant turbine, believed to be the only fully integrated turbine-and-storage combination from a single vendor.
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REDT is testing a vanadium redox battery system on Gigha. Should government funding for energy storage of renewable energy in Scotland be a priority before possible independence from the UK? Photo credit: Patrick Mackie
Has anyone thought through what will happen to Scotland’s renewable energy generation if the country ends up exiting the UK? Right now Scotland is ploughing ahead with what amounts to one of the most ambitious renewable energy generation programmes in the world.
In June 2011 the Scottish government published a 2020 Route map for Renewable Energy in Scotland with a target to generate the equivalent of 100% of its own electricity demand from renewable sources by the start of the next decade.
“This does not mean Scotland will be 100% dependent on renewables generation,” observed a report titled Energy in Scotland (PDF Link), from March last year, “but rather that renewables will form the key part of a wider, balanced electricity mix.”
Quite so. September figures (PDF Link) from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that Scotland is already home to 44% of all wind generation in the sovereign state, just one percentage point below England.
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A Ballard hydrogen fuel cell bus. Pic courtesy of HyER
It may be a tiny pond… but Ballard Power Systems is convinced it will be the biggest fish in it. According to a recent press release, the company “anticipates powering approximately 40 of the 50 zero-emission fuel cell buses used in public transit revenue service on European roads in 2014.”
The largest number will be the 10-vehicle strong fleet in Aberdeen, Scotland. There is only one larger: the 20-bus fleet that has been operating in Whistler, Canada since 2010.
If these numbers seem small, it’s perhaps worth remembering that most if not all these deployments are seen mainly as demonstration programmes, with fuel cell innovators highly reliant on non-corporate support such as the Sustainable Development Technology Canada fund, as in Ballard’s case.