How to make REnewables Consistent

On the electrical grid right now, the amount of generation has to be exactly equal to the amount of consumption. This is the handicap that renewable sources face: there is no way to store the energy to “flatten” out the production curve.

The common understanding these days is that for every MW of wind or solar energy available, an equal amount of “stand by” (usually natural gas) generation has to exist to pick up the slack when the wind dies or the sun goes down.

Donald Sadoway is addressing exactly that problem. His concept is a very large and inexpensive storage battery. The renewable source would produce into the battery whenever it can. The grid would pull this stored energy out as needed. So then, even when the wind suddenly dies on the production side of the battery, the grid will still see provided energy because it would pull the excess that was stored in the battery. Renewable production with the consistency needed by individual or commercial consumption patterns!

Listen to Professor Sadoway’s discovery. It is a great source of hope.