Hydro storage can secure 100 percent renewable electricity

February 27, 2017, Australian National University
Potential areas for pumped hydro energy storage between Brisbane and Melbourne (excluding national parks and other protected areas).

Pumped hydro storage can be used to help build a secure and cheap Australian electricity grid with 100 per cent renewable energy, a new study from The Australian National University (ANU) has found.

Lead researcher Professor Andrew Blakers from ANU said the zero-emissions grid would mainly rely on wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, with support from pumped hydro storage, and would eliminate Australia's need for coal and gas-fired power.

"With Australia wrestling with how to secure its energy supply, we've found we can make the switch to affordable and reliable clean power," said Professor Blakers from the ANU Research School of Engineering.

Professor Blakers said wind and solar PV provided nearly all new generation capacity in Australia and half the world's new generation capacity each year. At present, renewable energy accounts for around 15 per cent of Australia's electricity generation while two thirds comes from coal-fired power stations.

"However, most existing coal and gas stations will retire over the next 15 years, and it will be cheaper to replace them with wind and solar PV," he said.

The ANU research considers the potential benefits of using hydro power , where water is pumped uphill and stored to generate electricity on demand.

"Pumped hydro energy storage is 97 per cent of all storage worldwide, and can be used to support high levels of solar PV and wind," Professor Blakers said.

Map showing South Australia's extensive array of potential pumped hydro energy storage sites (excluding national parks and other protected areas). In general, larger heads (red areas) lead to lower cost. Credit: Australian National University

Professor Blakers said the cost of a 100 per cent stabilised renewable electricity system would be around AU$75/MWh, which is cheaper than coal and gas-fuelled power.

ANU is leading a study to map potential short-term off-river pumped hydro energy storage (STORES) sites that could support a much greater share of in the grid.

STORES sites are pairs of reservoirs, typically 10 hectares each, which are separated by an altitude difference of between 300 and 900 metres, in hilly terrain, and joined by a pipe with a pump and turbine. Water is circulated between the upper and lower reservoirs in a closed loop to store and generate power.

Dr Matthew Stocks from the ANU Research School of Engineering said STORES needed much less water than power generated by fossil fuels and had minimal impact on the environment because water was recycled between the small reservoirs.

"This hydro power doesn't need a river and can go from zero to full in minutes, providing an effective method to stabilise the grid," he said.

"The water is pumped up from the low reservoir to the high reservoir when the sun shines and wind blows and electricity is abundant, and then the can run down through the turbine at night and when electricity is expensive."

Co-researcher Mr Bin Lu said Australia had hundreds of potential sites for STORES in the extensive hills and mountains close to population centres from North Queensland down the east coast to South Australia and Tasmania.

Explore further: How South Australia can function reliably while moving to 100% renewable power

More information: 100% renewable electricity in Australia: energy.anu.edu.au/files/100%25 … 20in%20Australia.pdf

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39 comments

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gkam
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 27, 2017
Australia depends on coal sales for income. Coal companies and their politicians will not go down easily.
ScottishScientist
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 27, 2017
Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We've golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia Fair

Scottish Scientist
Independent Scientific Adviser for Scotland
scottishscientist.wordpress.com/

* Double Tidal Lagoon Baseload Scheme
* Off-Shore Electricity from Wind, Solar and Hydrogen Power
* World's biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland?
* Modelling of wind and pumped-storage power
* Scotland Electricity Generation – my plan for 2020
WillieWard
2.1 / 5 (7) Feb 27, 2017
Hilarious! While faux-greens are claiming "100% renewable" is possible and wind/solar is replacing fossil fuels everywhere, the Greenpeace still uses a diesel-burning ship and motorboats instead of one with windmill generators and solar panels to cross the oceans.
http://wpmedia.ne...1808.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...2JT7.jpg
gkam
2.1 / 5 (11) Feb 27, 2017
Giggle away, Willie.

Renewables are winning.
WillieWard
2.1 / 5 (7) Feb 27, 2017
Renewables are winning...
...winning subsidies, a waste taxpayers' money on mystical unicorn placebo.
gkam
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 28, 2017
Zzzzzzzz
4 / 5 (9) Feb 28, 2017
Renewables are Cheaper. This exact model won't work as well elsewhere as it does in Australia, but the bottom line is Renewables are Cheaper. Cheaper before figuring in clean up cost. Cheaper when looking only at overnight cost for new generation. This will turn out to be true in many more places, in many parts of the world. The details of the methodology will differ, but RENEWABLES WILL BE CHEAPER.
gkam
1 / 5 (8) Feb 28, 2017
Zzzzz, they already are. I was very surprised to see my PV system start to pay back in four years, then provide free power for decades for house and car, the EV. The payoff increases each year when power and gasoline prices go up.

The best kind of investment.
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (6) Feb 28, 2017
my PV system ... provide free power for decades for house and car, the EV. The payoff increases each year when power and gasoline prices go up.
Eco-nuts claim renewables are ever cheaper but even so Greenpeace prefers to cross the oceans on their diesel-burning ship rather than a wind/solar-powered one, because gskam does not want to share with them his technology of converting greenies' lies into perpetual motion.
gkam
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 28, 2017
One step at a time, Willie.
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (6) Feb 28, 2017
One step at a time
It's becoming more and more clear that the green cult isn't about decarbonising, it's about promoting solar panels and wind turbines. If that means burning more coal and other fossil fuels, then so be it!
gkam
1 / 5 (8) Feb 28, 2017
Promoting clean energy? Something wrong with that?

Meanwhile, the radiation at Fukushima is so intense they have yet to build a robot which can live through it for any period of time. The forecast of costing $190,000,000,000 was before they encountered the intense radiation flux.

Do you have any idea how much money that is? What is the opportunity cost of having to squander those resources of men and material and capital just to clean up an unnecessary mess?

How many fields of wind turbines, of PV systems or CSP generation? We could have had a clean, fuel-free, and waste-free national grid for the money it will cost for the errors of the nukers.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 28, 2017
Promoting clean energy? Something wrong with that?
It is neither clean nor carbon-free, it needs fossil fuels to keep lights on when there's no sun no wind.
How many fields of wind turbines, of PV systems or CSP generation?
It requires large land/offshore areas and disrupts wildlife's habitats.
It is neither clean nor fuel-free nor waste-free nor ecologically-friendly; it is just a high-cost mystical placebo that is unable to propel Greenpeace's ship and motorboats, it is just a waste of taxpayers' money.
gkam
1 / 5 (8) Feb 28, 2017
" it is just a waste of taxpayers' money."
-----------------------------------
Unlike that $190,000,000,000 it will cost to "clean up" Fukushima?

My house has PV-generated power. Do you have a home nuke?

No? Why not?
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Mar 01, 2017
It is time to get renewable. My PV system will save me 11% more this year because power is going up by that fraction.

http://www.sfgate...3682.php
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2017
"Hydro storage can secure 100 percent renewable electricity"
"Global hydropower boom will add to climate change"
"Reservoirs emit significant greenhouse gases planet-wide, study finds; researchers urge that new hydropower projects not be christened with green energy label"
http://www.atimes...-change/
"Renewable Energy Fiasco: Global Hydropower Boom Increases Greenhouse Gas Emissions"
http://www.thegwp...issions/
WillieWard
2 / 5 (4) Mar 01, 2017
My PV system...
your PV system is contributing to global warming, to increase it.
"Production Of Solar Panels Increases Greenhouse Gas Emissions"
"US emissions of a greenhouse gas thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide have expanded tenfold over the past two-and-a-half decades, according to fresh government data. And one reason — wait for it — is America's increasing reliance on solar power."
http://www.thegwp...issions/
"A Potent Greenhouse Gas Used to Make Solar Panels Is on the Rise"
"Nitrogen trifluoride emissions in the United States, while very low compared to carbon dioxide, could be an easy target in the fight against climate change."
http://www.seeker...288.html
gkam
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 01, 2017
Meanwhile, . . .

http://enenews.co...ottom-a?

Professor links die-offs on US West Coast to Fukushima radiation — "Nobody has any idea what to do about the continuing contamination" — River flowing under plant with "molten fuel on the bottom" and it's going into ocean

Our intentional hydro is better than your unintentional hydro, yours is heavily contaminated with radiation.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Mar 01, 2017
Professor links die-offs on US West Coast to Fukushima radiation — "Nobody has any idea what to do about the continuing contamination" — River flowing under plant with "molten fuel on the bottom" and it's going into ocean
"ENENews, or Energy News, is a fear mongering anti-nuclear news aggregator that was created in response to the Fukushima nuclear accident. The site tends to have three different types of posts: posts that imply the Fukushima accident has poisoned the entire Pacific Ocean and adjacent coastlines (as if a single nuclear accident could do such a thing) and that "They" are covering up the true scale of the disaster. The site also features posts that report on any and every case of animal death and disease that occurs in the Pacific Ocean and adjacent coastlines, and posts that claim that the Fukushima reactors are seconds away from exploding again and releasing more pollution."
http://rationalwi.../ENENews
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2017
Professor links die-offs on US West Coast to Fukushima radiation — "Nobody has any idea what to do about the continuing contamination" — River flowing under plant with "molten fuel on the bottom" and it's going into ocean
It is getting worse, it is producing mutants everywhere.
Wear your tinfoil hat now!
https://uploads.d...efb2.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...BD-g.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...HtaQ.jpg
https://uploads.d...3304.jpg
https://46qasb3uw5yn639ko4bz2ptr8u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/files/2016/03/tinfoilhatday-featured-2.jpg
https://uploads.d...97db.jpg

gkam
1 / 5 (7) Mar 01, 2017
Hey Willie, TEPCO needs $190,000,000,000 to work on Fukushima.

Can you help?
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2017
Professor links die-offs on US West Coast to Fukushima radiation — "Nobody has any idea what to do about the continuing contamination" — River flowing under plant with "molten fuel on the bottom" and it's going into ocea
So? Your nipponese expat hypochondriac living in a romanian basement linked his leukemia and male pattern baldness to fuku fallout, which cleared up once he fled the island in terror.

Nobody believed that crap either.
Eikka
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2017
gkam, get lost already

As for the article, $57.25 USD per MWh is excellent. They should build it.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 28, 2017
Pumped storage works. We used it at PG&E in the early 1980s.

But to pump it up, they should use wind power or PV.

Wind power in the midwest is now around $20/MWh.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Mar 28, 2017
...they should use wind power or PV.

Wind power in the midwest is now around $20/MWh.
Wind & Solar = "Scam of the Century" funded by taxpayers' hard-earned money.
https://pbs.twimg...sE0Q.jpg
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Mar 28, 2017
Intermittent renewables: "An energy source so diffuse, unreliable or geographically constrained that it poses no threat to the fossil fuel status quo."
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 28, 2017
It drives nuclear plants out of business.

Want a list?
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2017
Want a list?
Yes, of course, show us the list.
It drives nuclear plants out of business...
...with the false promise it would replace fossil fuels, but in the real world, intermittent renewables mean more coal and/or natural gas/fracking to compensate intermittencies.
"The competition between renewables and fossil fuel is an illusion. They actually support each other."
https://uploads.d...a1f1.jpg
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 28, 2017
Nope. We already have those fossil plants, but now we can replace them with cheaper and cleaner fuels for much of the time.

They are relegated to backups.

Nuclear units do not cycle well, and are built to run as baseload, full up all the time. They are too expensive to operate that way now, and are taking a backseat to wind, and the difference is going to natural gas as they close.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Mar 28, 2017
"France nuclear grew from 30TWh in 1978 to 360TWh in 1992 at a tiny fraction of the cost of the Energiewende farce."
https://uploads.d...bfe4.jpg

"I hope that it is not too late for the world to emulate France and make nuclear power our principal source of energy. There is at present no other safe, practical and economic substitute for the dangerous practice of burning carbon fuels." - James Lovelock(environmentalist)
https://pbs.twimg...49zc.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...Uh8B.jpg
gkam
Mar 28, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2017
Backups,...
fossil fuels, eternal backups(>70%) for intermittent renewables.
capacity factor: wind 32.5%, solar 28.6%
https://pbs.twimg...mAEo.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...BvqJ.jpg
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 28, 2017
They are still backups.

Second string.

On the way out.
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2017
They are still backups.
http://jonova.s3....-web.jpg
Eikka
5 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2017
Wind power in the midwest is now around $20/MWh.


Plus $18.6 billion in subsidies. (PTC, ITC, and Section 1603 between 2005 - 2014)

The subsidies are worth an additional $35/MWh or more, depending on what's available locally.
Eikka
5 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2017
They are still backups.

Second string.

On the way out.


As the output from renewables waxes and wanes continuously, the "backups" serve an important load balancing task - they're nearly always online to some extent, and the grid would break down without them.

Ultimately there isn't enough hydroelectric dam sites to back up all the renewables everywhere, so the question remains unsolved: there's no way to get rid of fossil fuels because there's no cheap energy storage available at that scale. They're not going out, they're here to stay until further notice.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2017
Notice has been served.

Check out utility battery installations already.

Then, count the number of nuclear and coal plants which have closed or on the way to shutting down.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2017
Check out utility battery installations already.
Batteries are becoming ever cheaper, thanks to foreign children.
"The Hidden Risks of Batteries: Child Labor, Modern Slavery, and Weakened Land and Water Rights"
https://www.green...al-risks
https://dqbasmyou...2_c1.png

gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2017
Nuclear risks are obvious.

Look at Chernobyl and Fukushima and PL-1 and the others.

Tell us how you folk are going to "clean up" those three Fukushima meltdowns, when the radioactivity kills everything, including hardened robots?

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