Pumped hydro storage for 100% renewable grid: Prof Andrew Blakers

In this podcast, Prof Andrew Blakers talks about how pumped hydro energy storage can support a 100% renewable energy grid of wind and PV.

BZE Technology Radio Show: 17 Feb 2017: Podcast

Beyond Zero Emissions talks to Prof Andrew Blakers:

  • Foundation Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at the Australian National University, which employs over 60 staff
  • Published approximately 200 papers and patents mainly in the areas of photovoltaic and solar energy system
  • Research interests include Solar energy, semiconductors, photovoltaics, silicon solar cells, urban concentrators, Energy policy & economics. Pumped hydro energy storage.

BZE Interviewers: Kay Wennagel, Michael Staindl, Natalie Bucknell

Interview broadcast on: 17 Feb 2017

From Radio 3CR in Melbourne, Australia

Further reading:

The Conversation: The government is right to fund energy storage: a 100% renewable grid is within reach

RenewEconomy: ANU to map pumped hydro storage potential to back wind and solar

ANU: Energy Storage

Commentary thanks to BZE volunteer Bev McIntyre:

An oversize farm dam on a steep hill can be a miniature hydro electric scheme!

Kay, Michael and Natalie interviewed Prof. Andrew Blakers from the Sustainable Energy Systems at ANU to speak about Pump Hydro Energy Storage (PHES)

Andrew described pump hydro as a relatively simple mechanism –  basically only needing a large dam, a steep hill and a connecting pipe. The same water gets pumped from the base of the hill to the upper reservoir where it remains until required for the production of energy on its return. The steeper the hill the more effective, as this would produce more force and require a shorter length of pipe. It can be set up relatively easily –  “off the shelf” as Andrew describes it.

There are many systems in the world, some connected to rivers, but there are thousands of available sites off-rivers – including many opportunities in South Australia (S.A.).  There are three already in use in Australia – two on rivers, one at Kangaroo Valley.

S.A. already has nearly 50% renewables, mainly wind, and there is a need for both a storage facility and an upgrade of the inter-connectors to the NEM.

Andrew and his team will be releasing a paper about pumped hydro storage for a 100% renewable energy grid in March 2017.

By | 2017-03-23T13:32:03+00:00 23 Feb 2017|Technology Show|Comments Off on Pumped hydro storage for 100% renewable grid: Prof Andrew Blakers