The Danish architectural firm Gottlieb Paludan has a wild idea for the storage of green power. Take the world’s most island-ridden areas and turn unused water-surrounded land into Green Power Islands. The firm would use the land on the islands to generate power through wind or solar — depending on the climate — and then use the water around it to store the power using pumped hydro.
Pumped hydro is a useful and simple way to store energy and is already in use around the world. Essentially the idea is that clean power is notoriously unreliable. The sun shines when it wants to and the winds blow when the clouds are around. Pumped hydro allows that unreliable power to be stored in a clean and efficient manner — read: no batteries — to be used at a later time. Essentially one installs a series of low lying pools, high lying pools, water pumps and slow grade waterfalls. When there is energy from the sun or wind that is not being used, you use that energy to pump water from low pools to high pools. When you need the power later, you let water fall down the slow-grade waterfalls and use it as hydro energy to fill the grid.
The folks at Gottlieb Paludan have outlined a few areas around the world that would be great for Green Power Islands: their native Denmark, the Florida Keys, Jiangsu in China, Manama in Baharain and Tamil Nadu in India. All of these locals have an abundance of uninhabited islands and either an abundance of sun or wind. Gottlieb Paludan notes that pumped hydro is in widespread use in mountainous regions to store and control the flow of wind power. Their concept will pump into the grid a remarkable 75% of the energy that was captured in the first round of energy gathering.
Via Planet Save