Thursday, January 17, 2013

Belgium plans artificial island to store wind power

I don't understand why solutions like this wouldn't be arguments for more baseload plants instead of being associated with renewables.
This is a nice twist on pumped storage - pumping out during excess production, and flowing water in when production is required.

Belgium plans artificial island to store wind power | Reuters:
BRUSSELS, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Belgium is planning to build a doughnut-shaped island in the North Sea that will store wind energy by pumping water out of a hollow in the middle, as it looks for ways to lessen its reliance on nuclear power.
One of the biggest problems with electricity is that it is difficult to store and the issue is exaggerated in the case of renewable energy from wind or sun because it is intermittent depending on the weather.
"We have a lot of energy from the wind mills and sometimes it just gets lost because there isn't enough demand for the electricity," said a spokeswoman for Belgium's North Sea minister Johan Vande Lanotte.
"This is a great solution," she said, adding she thought it could be the first of its kind.
Excess energy would be used to pump water out of the centre of the island, and then the water would be let back in through turbines Publish Postwhen demand outpaces supply.
The full article can be read at Reuters:

I am disappointed the Belgians would build a donut shaped structure - instead of putting effort into designing turbine feeds arrayed as a waffle.

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