Batteries a game changer

One of the frequently cited drawbacks to renewable energy is the energy produced typically has to be used while it is being generated

Dear editor:

One of the frequently cited drawbacks to renewable energy is the fact that the energy produced typically has to be used while it is being generated, even though the energy might not be needed at that time or, vice versa, might not be available when needed.

For example, solar panels only produce energy during daylight hours and wind turbines only spin when the wind is blowing.

But all of that is going to change very soon owing to the leaps being made in large-scale battery storage, leaps which will make it feasible to store large amounts of renewable energy while it is being generated and then make it available later when it is actually needed.

The leaps being made in battery technology will even be a benefit to energy that is thermally generated in biomass or natural gas plants because the excess energy they produce at night, when it’s not typically needed, can be stored for use during the hours of peak energy demand.

Large scale battery storage is definitely going to be a game changer in the energy field, and it even has the potential to make time of use rates, such as those seen in energy-starved Ontario, irrelevant due to the fact that stored energy can be brought online in a controlled and predictable way whenever it is needed to meet daily, and even seasonal, peaks in energy demand.

Pamela Gardner

Burnaby, B.C.