Increasing need for storage
With an increasing share of renewable power in the energy production, it is becoming increasingly important to find innovative solutions for energy storage. Solar and wind power are so called intermittent energy sources. This means that their production cannot be planned but instead relies on the current weather conditions. The greater the share of production that these sources account for, the more difficult it becomes to match the electricity production and consumption.
The electricity grid also has its own limitations. These mean that you cannot transport electricity large distances without it costing energy in the form of losses in the grid. To reduce these losses, local energy storage is needed.
In order for the growth rate of sustainable electricity to be able to increase, more investment is needed in storage solutions that can secure the electricity supply at all times. The long-term climate work therefore requires new, innovative technologies for large-scale energy storage.
Various energy storage technologies
With a growing share of weather-dependent electricity production, also the price volatility in the electricity market is increasing. At the same time as there is a growing need for frequency regulation in the electricity grid, i.e. the ability to continuously secure the stability between supply and demand.
Competitive energy storage must be cheap, have a high efficiency and be able to respond quickly to changes in the electricity grid. It must also have a long life-cycle, low environmental impact, and a long discharge time. The only existing technology that meets these requirements is pumped storage in mines, which SENS and Pumped Hydro is the only one to offer.
The energy storage market
Underground pumped hydro power meets all the requirements placed on the single most important type of energy storage that enables energy transition. In terms of competing technologies, PSH is the dominant way of storing energy, with 94 percent of total capacity globally (International Hydropower Association, 2018). By 2040, the global energy storage market is expected to grow to 1,095GW / 2,850GWh [ BloombergNEF]. Investments over the next 20 years are expected to amount to $662 billion, which would correspond to over 50,000 large-scale underground pumped storage plants of 100 MW each.