Energy Storage

Energy storage technologies are beginning to show great promise and penetrate the market, allowing for a better integration of renewable energy systems into the grid. Hydroelectric pumped-storage facilities have been in use for decades, and have generally been the only effective way of storing energy on a grid scale for many years. In the last few years, however, we have seen battery storage develop into a feasible solution for large-scale storage of energy as well as being used in small-scale domestic applications.
These technologies have an impact on the grid and the load balancing capabilities and must be managed as an integral part of the system. With consumers bringing these devices onto their premises, communication and smart-grid technologies are vital to maximise the benefits that these systems can have for the entire grid infrastructure.
Demands from the customer for power vary greatly during the day and night, and they vary considerably from season to season. In many countries the highest peaks are usually found during cold periods in the winter, but in other countries during summer daylight hours when air conditioners are running. Countries at extreme latitudes or with strong continental climates such as Canada and Norway generally see their highest demand during winter. At 25,362 kWh per capita, Norway has the second highest per capita consumption of electricity after Iceland and although much lower than Norway’s, Canada has the third highest with 15,661 kWh per capita. Demand also varies by time of day, with peaks typically at the start and end of the working day. At night time the load is lowest, mainly for industry running non-stop, public lighting and stand by use by electric appliances. Patterns change, for example, in the UK the highest demand used to be in the winter but in metropolitan areas it is now in the summer due to the increased use of air conditioning in commercial offices.