On this episode, Nate is joined by Graham Palmer, a scholar and engineer in the field of energy. While this show frequently covers the importance of energy itself, this discussion focuses on how the ability to store and access energy has critically shaped societies.
There are two basic ways of correctly dealing with coal combustion residuals (CCR) — whether existing or new. They are storing it in lined ponds, preferably as far from potable water supplies as possible, and finding a way to use it so it doesn’t need to be stored at all.
Their new book Energy Storage and Civilization: A Systems Approach (Springer, February 2020) is an important contribution to biophysical economics – marvelously clear, deep and detailed where necessary, and remarkably thorough for a work of just over 150 pages.
Going off-grid? Think twice before you invest in a battery system. Compressed air energy storage is the sustainable and resilient alternative to batteries, with much longer life expectancy, lower life cycle costs, technical simplicity, and low maintenance.
Compressed air energy storage (CAES) is considered to be an important component of a renewable power grid, because it could store surplus power from wind turbines and solar panels on a large scale. However, in its present form, the technology suffers from large energy losses and depends on natural gas to operate.
However, determining whether storage can indeed solve the problem of intermittency of wind or solar requires assessing the ‘energetic productivity’ of using energy storage in combination with variable renewables.
Intermittency has long been considered the Achilles heel of renewable power generation.
Because of the relatively low population density and the abundant natural resources, Hawaii has the potential to do something that will prove to be much more challenging elsewhere: Derive most or all of its energy from renewable sources.
•U.S. support of grid energy storage charges up •Berlin energy grid nationalisation fails in referendum •In Brazil, the wind is blowing in a new era of renewable energy •Actively cutting energy bills in Oldham – welcome to the ‘Passivhauses’ •China’s troubled shift to a green economy
•Swedish pension funds urged to dump fossil fuel holdings •Romantic Germany risks economic decline as green dream spoils •German Energy Storage Plan Could Trigger New Market Boom •Buying Local Solar Makes Florida City a World Leader •Constituency voices: realising the potential of community energy [Report]California’s Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases