Smart grids, along with renewable solar and wind power systems, require affordable and efficient energy storage batteries. The reason for this is rather obvious – renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are intermittent. Also, there is a need to balance supply and demand.
But the current high cost and short life span of storage batteries are preventing widespread market penetration and economic viability of these renewable systems.
Two projects have caught my eye recently that may give some hints about where we might build some of our power stations and processing facilities in the future.
Quite rightly, land-based power stations and industrial units are subject to careful scrutiny before planning permission is given. The fact they are so visible and close to communities means the opinions of thousands of people may need to be considered.
Even offshore facilities like fixed wind farms, visible from coastlines, bear the scars of public consultation.
But what if we generated our power or processed raw materials further out into our seas and oceans, beyond the horizon. Would that offer a new solution?