Episode 138: What is energy storage?

Inês Azevedo, associate professor at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and co-Director for the Climate and Energy Decision Making (CEDM) Center at Carnegie Mellon University, explains how we store energy  and whether energy storage is good for the environment.

Listen

Respond

Learn more

Energy Storage from the Department of Energy

Grid Energy Storage from the Department of Energy 

Energy Storage Exchange: The DOE Global Energy Storage Database


Transcript

HOST: Have you ever wondered about the storage of energy? On this week’s Energy Bite, Inês Azevedo, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has some answers.

AZEVEDO: You are probably most familiar with energy stored in batteries such as for your phone or car. The goal is to accumulate energy so you have it available for use at a later time.

But energy storage is much more than that, particularly for storing electricity. As we incorporate renewable sources like solar and wind energy into the electricity grid we need to store that energy during the times when the sun shines and the wind blows, so that we can use it later when it does not.

HOST: Is the electricity stored always green?

AZEVEDO: No. In our research at Carnegie Mellon, we have found that if electricity storage operators are trying to maximize profits, they may store energy that is not green.

For example, instead of storing wind and solar energy when it is occurring during the day, they may instead store the electricity generated by coal at night. This is cheaper. This would lead to an increase rather than a decrease in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. So, energy storage technology is not always green in actual use.

HOST: Do you think there should be limitations on what kind of energy is stored? Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org.

ANNOUNCER: Energy Bite is a co-production between 90.5 WESA and Carnegie Mellon’s’ Scott Institute for Energy Innovation.

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: