North Sea Rocks: A potential storage for renewable energy

North Sea Rocks: A potential storage for renewable energy

Fluctuations in electricity production or demand in a system dominated by renewable energy requires an economical, reliable, and practical storage of energy on a scale. Commercially mature compressed-air energy storage could be applied to porous rocks on sedimentary basins worldwide, where legacy data from hydrocarbon explorations are available, and if geographically close to renewable energy sources.

This technique could be used to constrict compressed air in porous rock formations found in the North Sea by using the electricity from renewable technologies. The pressurized air could later be released to run a turbine and generate a large volume of electricity. The study found that using this process on a large scale could store enough compressed air to meet the electricity needs during winter, when demand is highest.

However, the amount of energy made by several renewable technologies varies depending on weather conditions. Porous rocks beneath UK waters could store about one and a half times the UK's typical electricity demand for January and February. Compressed air energy storage would function by using electricity from renewable energy to turn a motor that generates compressed air. This air would be stored at high pressure in the pores found in sandstone drilled into the rock. In the midst of energy shortage, the pressurized air would be released from the well, powering a turbine to generate electricity that is fed into the grid.

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