While the number of health facilities using renewable energy have increased in recent years, there are still many that have yet to take the plunge. In order to maximize the use of renewable energy we must improve the ways that we store the energy. By storing green energy, electricity can be used when it is needed and not only when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. But recent technological advances bring us closer to perfecting the storage piece of the puzzle. As the Guardian explains below, there are several ways this could happen soon, including big batteries (whose costs are rapidly declining) splitting water to create hydrogen, compressing air in underground caverns, flywheels and heated gravel pits, and more. Institutions, such as hospitals, that may have been hesitant to go 100% renewable because of their distrust for the reliability of solar or wind may no longer need to waver. And it's likely that 2016 is the year. Find out how your facility can improve its energy goals.
By Damian Carrington I February 3, 2016
It doesn’t always rain when you need water, so we have reservoirs - but we don’t have the same system for electricity,” says Jill Cainey, director of the UK’s Electricity Storage Network.
But that may change in 2016, with industry figures predicting a breakthrough year for a technology not only seen as vital to the large-scale rollout of renewable energy, but also offering the prospect of lowering customers’ energy bills.
Big batteries, whose costs are plunging, are leading the way. But a host of other technologies, from existing schemes like splitting water to create hydrogen, compressing air in underground caverns, flywheels and heated gravel pits, to longer term bets like supercapacitors and superconducting magnets, are also jostling for position.
In the UK, the first plant to store electricity by squashing air into a liquid is due to open in March, while the first steps have been taken towards a virtual power station comprised of a network of home batteries.
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