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Energy storage as an essential part of sustainable energy systems

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  • Marco Semadeni

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    (Center for Energy Policy and Economics CEPE, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

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    Abstract

    Energy supply is an intricate task that provides a reliable energy service to consumers throughout the year. Import dependencies, seasonal differences in energy supply and use, and daily fluctuations in consumption require a sophisticated management of energy resources and conversion, or energy distribution and resource intermittency in order to guarantee continuous energy services throughout all sectors. Therein, energy storage plays a critical role. Energy storage balances the daily fluctuations and seasonal differences of energy resource availability, which results from physical, economical or geo-political constraints. A strongly variable energy demand through day and night also requires energy to be stored in adequate amounts. In particular, short- and mid-term storage levels out or buffers energy output gaps or overflows. Energy is mostly stored in between conversion steps from primary to secondary energy and secondary to final energy. Often rechargeable systems are used to refill the storage capacity when energy demand is low and energy services are not needed. Primary storage such as large crude oil and natural gas storage tanks are essential for the functioning of a country's energy system. Storage of water in reservoirs behind dams is valuable for selling hydropower electricity at the right time or in seasons of increased demand. Secondary or final storage systems, for instance in tanks or in batteries, are crucial for emergency situations, uninterrupted industrial production, long-distance mobility or to secure energy services at home. Storage systems are engineered to hold adequate amounts of mechanical, thermo-physical, electro-chemical or chemical energy for prolonged periods of time. Energy storage systems should be quickly chargeable and should have a large energy storage capacity, but at the same time should also have high rates of recovery and high yields of energy regain. Final energy in factories or households is often stored in tanks as chemical energy in the form of heating oil or natural gas. Thermo-physical energy in the form of steam, hot or cold water, or thermo-oils is also used. For some special applications or for safety reasons energy may be stored electrochemically in batteries or physically in the form of pressurized air. Other storage systems are related to electricity and apply mechanical storage in the form of spinning turbines or flywheels, physical storage in the form of water in reservoirs in highland terrains, or electrostatic storage in super-capacitors. Research is extensive in the area of energy storage since an increase of new renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar is expected to increase fluctuations and deviations from grid parameters. These need too be balanced out using reserve power capacities, grid level power storage capabilities, distributed generation units connected to the grid, and possibly appropriate new grid architectures.

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    File URL: http://www.cepe.ethz.ch/publications/workingPapers/CEPE_WP24.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich in its series CEPE Working paper series with number 03-24.

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    Length: 49 pages
    Date of creation: May 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cee:wpcepe:03-24

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Bernard Aebischer & Alois Huser, 2000. "Monatlicher Verbrauch von Heizöl extraleicht im Dienstleistungssektor," CEPE Working paper series 00-04, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    2. K Christen & Martin Jakob & Eberhard Jochem, 2000. "Grenzkosten bei forcierten Energiesparmassnahmen in Bereich Wohngebäude," CEPE Working paper series 00-06, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    3. Massimo Filippini & Jörg Wild & Michael Kuenzle, 2001. "Scale and cost efficiency in the Swiss electricity distribution industry: evidence from a frontier cost approach," CEPE Working paper series 01-08, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    4. Filippini, Massimo & Wild, Jorg, 2001. "Regional differences in electricity distribution costs and their consequences for yardstick regulation of access prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 477-488, July.
    5. David Goldblatt, 1999. "Northern Consumption: A Critical Review of Issues, Driving Forces, Disciplinary Approaches and Critiques," CEPE Working paper series 99-03, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    6. Silvia Banfi & Massimo Filippini & Lester C. Hunt, 2003. "Fuel tourism in border regions," CEPE Working paper series 03-23, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    7. Martin Jakob & A Primas & Eberhard Jochem, 2001. "Erneuerungsverhalten im Bereich Wohngebäude - Auswertung des Umfrage-Pretests," CEPE Working paper series 01-09, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    8. Cornelia Luchsinger & Jörg Wild & Rafael Lalive, 2001. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority? The Swiss Case," CEPE Working paper series 01-07, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    9. Silvia Banfi & Massimo Filippini & Adrian Müller, 2003. "Rent of Hydropower Generation in Switzerland in a Liberalized Market," CEPE Working paper series 01-20, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
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