It is shown that, in a sustainable energy future, energy for the electricity grid will probably be derived largely from the renewable sources of wind and solar radiation. Because both are intermittent, any infinite busbar grid supplying a metropolitan area must necessarily be buffered from these intermittencies by massive energy storage on the gigawatt-day level. It is then demonstrated that, under presently foreseeable scientific capabilities, only underground pumped hydro and advanced adiabatic compressed air energy storage appear capable of meeting anticipated technological and economic constraints. Neither has ever been constructed and tested; but even so it is predicted that underground pumped hydro ultimately will prove to be superior.
- Compressed air energy storage
- Energy storage
- Fuel cells
- Superconducting magnetic energy storage
- Underground pumped hydro
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment