Weekend Reads: Energy Storage Key for Power Grid; Upper Atmosphere Paradox - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Regulation, Utilities  -  June 10, 2023

Weekend Reads: Energy Storage Key for Power Grid; Upper Atmosphere Paradox

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web:

Long-Duration Energy Storage Is Key To Cleaning Up The Power Grid (CleanTechnica) When reading about energy storage, you may come across terms like long-term storage, seasonal storage, diurnal storage, or long-duration storage. As large amounts of wind and solar resources are connected to the grid, long-duration energy storage could prevent curtailment of renewable energy sources resources. Energy storage can alleviate curtailment by facilitating the efficient use of clean energy resources. As renewable deployment increases, the grid flexibility provided by long-duration energy storage will become more useful.

The world can transition to carbon-free power systems. Here's how (World Economic Forum) Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will require a drastic shift in the global power system as the world moves from fossil fuels to carbon-free electricity. It will be necessary to dramatically speed up efforts to create a decarbonized energy system. Systems Change Lab analyses the latest science to determine the current state of progress in global energy system decarbonization. We track four major transformations that are essential for creating a carbon-free, equitable power system.

AI, climate change, fuel cells among energy transition ‘disconnects’ for utilities: Morgan Stanley (Utility Dive) Damage from climate change may outweigh the rate base benefits utilities gain from spending on grid resiliency. Utilities on the West Coast and in the Southeast are particularly exposed to climate change risks. The economics of energy storage are better than generally appreciated and will drive increased adoption of distributed energy resources in places like California and the Northeast where rooftop solar can be less expensive than utility rates and grid reliability has prompted concerns.

The Upper Atmosphere Is Cooling, Prompting New Climate Concerns (WIRED) There is a paradox at the heart of our changing climate. While the blanket of air close to the Earth’s surface is warming, most of the atmosphere above is becoming colder. The same gases that are warming the bottom few miles of air are cooling the much greater expanses above. Until recently, scientists called the remote zones of the upper atmosphere the “ignorosphere,” because they knew so little about them. So now that they know more, what are we learning, and should it reassure or alarm us?

What Is the Future of Fusion Energy? (Scientific American) Last December physicists working on fusion claimed a breakthrough. A team at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) announced it had extracted more energy from a controlled nuclear fusion reaction than had been used to trigger it. Nuclear fusion has the potential to produce energy with near-zero carbon emissions, without creating the dangerous radioactive waste associated with today's nuclear fission reactors. As we look further out, there are good reasons to think fusion will be a key part of the energy economy.

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