Thursday, 9 March 2017

Hydro storage can secure 100% renewable electricity

Pumped storage facility at Raccoon Mountain Pumped-Storage Plant1
Credit: Tennessee Valley Authority/Wikipedia

Professor Andrew Blakers of the Australian National University Research School of Engineering has added his voice to the chorus supporting the practicality of renewables to provide reliable & cheap electricity for Australia.2

“With Australia wrestling with how to secure its energy supply, we've found we can make the switch to affordable & reliable clean power.” – Professor Andrew Blakers, Australian National University Research School of Engineering

“The zero-emissions grid would mainly rely on wind & solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, with support from pumped hydro storage, & would eliminate Australia's need for coal & gas-fired power.” – Professor Blakers

“The cost of a 100 per cent stabilised renewable electricity system would be around AU$75/MWh, which is cheaper than coal & gas-fuelled power.” – Professor Blakers

Australian National University, Energy Change Institute – “Hydro storage can secure 100% renewable electricity”,

It is worth noting that Professor Blakers’ figure of AU$80/MWh for “clean coal” was calculated by CO2CRC which is in the business of carbon capture & storage. Other authorities calculate the cost of, “clean coal”, at AUD$134-$203/MWh & solar at AUD$78-$140/MWh.3

1 Wikipedia: “Pumped-storage hydroelectricity”,

2 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: ‘CSIRO: “There's no reason Australia can’t switch to 100% renewable energy”’,

3 Clean Technica: “Pumped Hydro Storage Could Secure 100% Renewable Electricity For Australia”,

/ CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation no reason Australia can’t switch to 100% renewable energy Australian government’s chief scientific body no apparent technical impediment to reaching 100 per cent renewables national electricity grid levels of up to 30 per cent renewable energy should be considered as trivial current energy systems pumped hydro storage build secure cheap Australian electricity grid 100 percent 100 per cent 100% renewable energy new study The Australian National University ANU lead researcher Professor Andrew Blakers ANU Professor Andrew Blakers Australian National University Research School of Engineering ANU zero-emissions grid wind solar photovoltaic PV technology support from pumped hydro storage eliminate coal gas-fired power Australia wrestling secure its energy supply make the switch affordable and reliable clean power Professor Blakers ANU Research School of Engineering Professor Blakers wind solar PV electricity nearly all new generation capacity in Australia half the world's new generation capacity each year renewable energy accounts for around 15 per cent of Australia's electricity generation two thirds comes from coal-fired power stations most existing coal and gas stations will retire over the next 15 years cheaper to replace them with wind solar PV ANU research benefits hydro power energy storage water is pumped uphill stored generate electricity on demand pumped hydro energy storage 97 per cent of all storage worldwide support high levels of solar PV and wind cost 100 per cent stabilised renewable electricity system AU$75/MWh cheaper than coal and gas-fuelled power study map potential short-term off-river pumped hydro energy storage STORES sites much greater share of renewable energy in the grid STORES pairs of reservoirs typically 10 hectares altitude difference between 300 and 900 metres hilly terrain joined by a pipe pump and turbine water circulated between upper and lower reservoirs closed loop to store generate power Dr Matthew Stocks ANU Research School of Engineering STORES needed much less water than power generated by fossil fuels minimal impact on the environment water was recycled between the small reservoirs hydro power hydropower doesn't need a river zero to full power in minutes effective method to stabilise the grid /