Imagine a Canada with plentiful renewable energy
Renewable Energy: This is where we stand now…
Renewable energy sources offer a great potential for producing energy on a large scale with low greenhouse gas emissions. The resource adequacy of renewables is generally not an issue, although some parts of the world have more geographical limitations than others. Even when practical limitations are factored in, the remaining resource base remains enormous.
The challenges are how to capture these dilute, low energy-density, intermittent, variable and geographically dispersed energy resources where they are needed and when they are needed, at reasonable cost.
The variable and intermittent nature of renewable sources such as solar power or wind means that they are currently only partially dispatchable – making it difficult to integrate them into electricity supply grids. Largescale storage is therefore the critical technology required to enable solar and wind to ‘mimic’ the characteristics of baseload generation, and subsequently assume a greater role within the global energy supply mix.
Modern electrical grid systems have been designed primarily to accommodate constant, baseload energy from sources such as natural gas and coal-fired power plants, hydroelectric dams and nuclear power. At current levels of penetration, the intermittency of renewables such as wind and solar is generally manageable.
As renewables penetration expands in the long-term to significantly higher levels, however, the intermittency issue may become more salient and may require some combination of innovative grid management techniques, improved grid integration, dispatchable back-up resources, and cost-effective energy storage technologies.
Over the next 30-70 years, sustained efforts will be needed to realise the potential of renewable energy as part of a comprehensive strategy that supports a diversity of resources options for energy over the next century
A range of options exists for managing the variability of renewable resources, each with strengths and weaknesses that differ across scale and situation. These include the use of natural gas generation as a complement to wind output generation, demand management or storage.
Here, we focus particularly on renewables coupled with large-scale storage, because it has the potential to turn renewables into a serious contender for providing energy on large-scale with characteristics that nearly match those of baseload power. Increased storage in concert with the development of Smart Grids could also reduce transmission costs and decrease transmission system load. Ancillary services such as regulation, spinning reserve, supplemental reserve, replacement reserve, voltage control and black start services are also needed to intelligently smooth the integration of storage into the system.
Source: Greenpeace Canada
Greenpeace today condemned the Harper government for giving as much as$750 million dollars to nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage instead of investing those funds in the green economy Canada needs for the future.
Undermines the green economy:
The millions that the Harper government has earmarked for dangerous nuclear energy and the pipe dream of carbon capture and storage are anenvironmental travesty. This is also an unnecessary burden totaxpayers. Greenpeace hoped the Harper government would reject thesefalse solutions to our energy problems. They don’t deserve subsidies, green energy does. MORE