ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY ENERGIES AND ENERGY STORAGE
In contrast to fossil fuels, renewable energies are based on nearly inexhaustible sources. They consist of an energy mix of wind energy, bioenergy and solar energy as well as hydropower and geothermal energy and can replace fossil fuel to the greatest possible extent1.
At the same time, they make a significant contribution to climate protection. Recent studies show that the use of renewable energies has gained acceptance all over the word and is in direct competition with the energy generation from fossil fuels. According to an IRENA study, one kilowatt hour of wind-generated electricity is produced - in some locations with strong winds - for only four euro cents. The solar power is particularly cheap in high-sunshine countries. In the Middle East, operators of solar parks want to produce electricity for only five euro cents per kilowatt hour2. Even in regions of the world with an underdeveloped power grid or a low population density, the energy production with solar or wind power plants can close supply gaps. The deficit of the insufficient energy supply can be solved by locally installed plants for the decentralised production of energies from alternative energy sources (wind and/or solar plants).
The first two areas of application show the trends in the sustainable energy production. The production from the renewable energy sources takes place by using modern environmentally friendly power plant, which ensure an energy production low in CO2. The clean energy produced is fed into the electricity or heat grids. Due to the fact that the intensity of the production of the renewable energies varies depending on the energy sources, it is necessary to develop efficient and economically attractive storage technologies. These technologies are used as a buffer for fluctuations in supply or demand. This makes it possible to store energy in times of the top supply of electricity in order to supply future demands3. By means of the diverse range of different storage technologies, the entire potential of the renewable energy sources - wind, hydropower and sun in particular - can be fully exploited - even in connection with the introduction of electro-mobility4.
Due to the enormous range from a few watts up to hundreds of megawatts, renewable energies can be adapted to any kind of energy service. With new grid concepts, a flexible management of the grids by means of IT-supported solutions and new storage technologies (referred to as SmartGrids), maximum flexibility of the entire energy supply is achieved. This forms the basis for the economic, secure and environmentally compatible energy supply in the future.
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