Magazine article Geographical

Ripples of Hope

Magazine article Geographical

Ripples of Hope

Article excerpt

Geographical's regular look at the world of climate change. This month, Marco Magrini looks at energy storage

It is happening. The grid's decarbonisation is moving faster than many people realise. In May, for four consecutive days, Portugal was powered exclusively by solar, wind and hydro energy sources. A week later, clean energy supplied a record 87 per cent of Germany's electricity demand. At the same time, Britain's coal-fired electricity fell to zero for more than 12 hours for the first time in modern history--no minor accomplishment.

If Europe seems well on track to reach its baseline target of a 20 per cent share in renewable energy by 2020, the entire world needs to speed up clean power adoption, in order to meet its ultimate climatic goals. However, to reach and exceed the 30 per cent threshold in another decade, the missing link for clean power technologies must be filled in, namely storage.

If companies are to avoid paying customers for electricity consumption, any excess energy must be stored. If provided with powerful, inexpensive batteries to store electricity, households and small businesses could easily become energy independent. Technology is fast approaching that turning point. …

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