Perspectives on an Energy System After a Decline in Fossil Fuel Use: Welcome to the Store-Age
Since the dawn of the industrial revolution our economies, our development and our psyche have been inherently linked to an addiction to carbon based fuels. Whilst they last, these fossil fuels can be consumed at the time and point of need—a concept called dispatchability. Low carbon sources, whether nuclear or weather dependant are often cited as being non dispatchable and so not always available when needed. Low cost, high density and easily deployable energy storage is one of a suite of technologies which could add the flexibility needed to help match the generation of low carbon energy to consumption. This chapter explores the ways in which energy storage can provide that flexibility. It considers storage in many of its forms, from fast responding batteries through to large pumped storage facilities and electric vehicles. There is a special focus on electricity systems through proposing a future “electrical energy storage mix”. The chapter also provides a critical assessment of energy storage to provide near complete decarbonisation of homes, commercial buildings and islands through a series of case studies. This informs what storage can, and cannot achieve, in the context of abating fossil fuel.
KeywordsEnergy storage Flexibility Low carbon transitions Energy mix Batteries Electric vehicles
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