More Electric Cars, Then More Renewable Energy?
As the world moves to renewable energy a problem is arising that may greatly limit how much renewable energy we can put online. In today’s world, non renewable fuel sources such as nuclear,coal,oil and natural gas are all used in pretty much the same way to produce electricity.
We use them to boil water and make steam. The high pressure steam is used to turn massive turbines that generate electricity. The turbines themselves represent a massive mass of iron and wire that is spinning at high speeds. Any small disruption to the steam generator does not result in a loss of electricity to consumers because the rotating mass is in effect storing kinetic energy. This acts as a gigantic energy storage or buffer for the grid.
Today’s renewable energy technology is primarily wind and solar pv. These technologies generate electricity as the sun or as the wind provides the source power. If clouds cover the sun or the wind slows down, generated electricity is stopped. This represents a huge problem for consumers.
We Need More Electric Cars.
The answer for this believe it or not, may be that we need to move faster to electric vehicles. Each electric vehicle has a small ( relatively small ) battery connected to it. Add millions of these batteries together and we have a huge energy storage system that could easily balance a renewable energy grid for us. If we include small storage systems for home and businesses we have even more buffer available.
In this video, the author gives us a bird’s eye view of the problem with renewable energy and suggests how we can fix it.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.