Renewable Energy “Green ceiling” Reached
A Scottish company behind pumped storage hydro schemes claims “green ceiling” to renewable generation must be addressed with large scale energy storage to ensure net-zero targets are met
The latest onshore wind power generation figures for the first six months of 2019 show enough electricity generated to power 4.47 million homes; double the number in Scotland itself. These exciting figures show onshore wind power in Scotland is helping the whole of the UK to hit its clean generation targets.
Mark Wilson CEO for ILI Group said “These new figures reflect the scale of delivery by Scottish onshore wind, and will increase as new developments go ahead. However, they can also be misleading since there is currently a 'green ceiling' to the amount of renewable generation the power network can accommodate.
“As new renewable generation goes online and older coal, gas and nuclear plants contribute less, this leaves us increasingly dependent on intermittent renewable power that cannot be scheduled to meet demand or lack of it, to fill this gap. The missing link is energy storage on a scale that was unimaginable only ten years ago”
“Our own company's 2GW of planned Pumped storage Hydro schemes in Scotland can go a long towards filling this gap and along with hydrogen and battery technologies will help ensure the transition to net-zero electricity generation.
“They will off set million of tons of CO2 emissions and will also bring billions of pounds of investment to Scotland; creating hundreds of new green jobs which, disappointingly, has not been the case so far with other renewable energy developments"
Pumped Storage Hydro allows the Grid to store energy that cannot be absorbed by consumers during times of peak wind or solar generation by using this energy to pump water from a lower reservoir to a top reservoir. The water can be held until times of demand where it is released to the lower reservoir through turbines generating electricity like a conventional hydro plant. It is essentially a giant water battery.
Former UK Energy Minister, Brian Wilson, said: "It becomes a bit repetitive to hear about the numbers of homes powered by windfarms without any reference to security of supply and the means of ensuring it. That is now where there is huge potential for Scotland because of our natural assets.
"One way or another, there has to be back-up and therein lies the huge opportunity for UK industry. Pumped Storage Hydro - which provides 95 per cent of storage around the world - is the obvious answer instead of over-relying on imports via interconnectors.
"Hydro power has served Scotland exceptionally well in the past and can do so for many years to come. This is an opportunity to give an established technology a new lease of life with huge potential benefits for the Scottish economy while at the same time helping to solve the inescapable challenges posed by the growth of renewables".
ILI Group have over 2GW of Pump-storage Hydro in the pipeline with their first 450MW development Red John at Loch Nesss currently in planning.