In the following article from the Economist, energy problems are discussed, particularly the problems connected to intermittent renewable energy sources and the need to store energy so that it can be used when needed. Do you agree that better ways of storing energy would make generating electricity cleaner and more efficient?
Write an essay of between 300 and 370 words on this topic, briefly summarising the different solutions to energy storage presented in the text, presenting your view on whether energy storage can be a solution to our current energy problems and providing other solutions to the energy problem, if relevant. Use specific details and examples to help develop your argument.
Green, clean and efficient energy is surely the future, if our planet shall survive for many generations and energy shall become cheaper. The problem of our time lies in the large-scale production of this energy, the ability to store it for the long term and discharge it following high or low need. Especially the storing causes headache, but by big financings of different states and companies, various projects shall be worked out to achieve the aim of clean energy and declare war on atomic energy.
Atomic energy covers the main part of our energy needs, but it is not a clean source and still dangerous as the happenings in Chernobyl and Fukushima clearly show. Moreover, the disposal of radioactive waste is a very expensive endeavor. Green, clean and efficient energy is the future, nevertheless it is still far away from covering our electricity needs.
The problem of clean energy plants is, that they are not really efficient and storable, moreover they need to satisfy certain geographical prerequisites. Wind farms, solar fields and pumped storage hydro power stations cannot be installed anywhere. Furthermore, their efficacy suffers from lack of wind or sunshine. Consequently, their complete potential can only be guaranteed, if they are receiving enough wind or sunshine. Another problem of these installations is that they’re not able to store lots of energy. Big batteries could be a possibility to solve this issue, but they are unable to draw big energy charges and store them over the long term, as well as provide it when required.
New projects such as Green Power Island, Gravity Power, Advanced Rail Energy Storage (ARES), Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) and Pumped Heat Electricity Storage (PHES) have the capability to produce green energy in a cleaner and more efficient way as before, furthermore they are able to mass-produce it as necessary and the energy is storable.
It is possible to produce energy in a cleaner way, but the storing and the covering of the high energy needs are a problem which has to be solved any time soon. The clean energy market is large and has lots of potential to compete against the atomic energy, mostly because many countries support the projects financially.