There are a number of technologies and methodologies being evaluated to help ensure the security and stability of our electricity supply as more clean energy technology is integrated into our existing grids. Currently, there are four potential solutions as presented by the U.N.E.P. (United Nations Environment Programme).
1. Fast response conventional generation
This option involves building additional fast response generation from sources such as gas, coal or diesel, to provide adequate capacity to compensate for the scale and speed of the variability from renewable energy.
This option is both expensive and does not remove our dependency on fossil fuels. Under this solution over 80% of the variable renewable energy capacity is required to have backup generation from fossil fuels.
HOW The Faraday Exchanger COMPLeMENTS generation
The Faraday Exchanger allows clean energy generation to be maximised, including outside its normal operational envelope. This in turn minimises the total amount of fast response generation capacity required. This saves on both capital and consumables costs, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
This option requires installing connections between power grids to allow them to share electricity.
Interconnections are expensive. While interconnect help address the intermittence issue at a whole of grid level, the underlying volatility problem within individual grid architecture still does not allow for the effective transmission of the variable renewable energy distributed within.
HOW The Faraday Exchanger COMPLeMENTS interconnections
Interconnects span a large distance and to minimise losses must operate using high voltage DC systems. This requires converters from high voltage AC to DC and vice versa at each end of the cable. Existing converters are expensive and require significant harmonic filtering and conversion. Faraday Exchangers eliminate these shortcomings and lower the capital cost of these significant infrastructure investments.
3. Demand Response
This option involves providing financial incentives to users for reducing their electricity consumption during peak times of demand, usually large industrial and commercial users.
This will impact economic productivity, which will have huge ramifications at all scales from local jobs to the global economy. It is in effect paying energy users to reduce their contribution to GDP.
HOW The Faraday Exchanger COMPLeMENTS demand
The Faraday Grid will allow increased penetration and utilisation of variable clean energy generation in the grid. This increase in available power will aid in minimising the requirement for reducing consumption.
4. Energy Storage
This option utilises batteries throughout the network which can hold surplus electricity produced when renewable generation exceeds demand, and then release it to the grid when renewable power resources are insufficient to satisfy consumption.
Current battery technology is not sophisticated enough and does not have the energy density or efficiency to provide a viable solution. The cost of implementing this solution would make the price of electricity unaffordable.
HOW The Faraday Exchanger COMPLeMENTS ENERGY STOrage
The Faraday Exchanger improves the capabilities of batteries by improving the charging and discharging efficiency, meaning less energy is lost.
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