A research study, titled, “From fossil fuels to renewables: The role of electricity storage,” published in the European Economic Review reveals that better technologies for storage of electricity has filliped its production using both the traditional fossil fuels as well as the relatively new renewables.
The paper also goes on to prove that improved storage technology can bolster the functioning of the overall electricity sector. It, however, doubts the belief that only better storage can bring down carbon emissions by increasing innovation in renewable energy.
Companies with Patents are Likely to Apply for More
The study factored in patent data of over 50 years gathered from 70 countries to arrive at a conclusion. It picked companies that had bagged patents for technologies in electricity generation and calculated the chances for their applying for more in the future. It found that with a patent in storage technology, it is highly probable that companies will apply for another, either in more systems for storing fossil fuels or in technologies for generating renewable electricity.
It found that better energy storage, while solving one of the basic problems of storage facing the renewable energy sector, does not necessarily facilitate supplanting of fossil fuels by renewable sources.
Energy storage systems help tackle a major problem of renewable energy – its intermittent production on account of the unpredictable nature of weather. Energy storage systems also benefit fossil fuel plants, particularly thermal-powered plants, to manage peak demands. By storing energy, those plants can solve the problem of production swings and lower the ramping costs.