Thermal Energy Storage: The Lowest-Cost Option for Renewable Integration
Drawing from several strategies included in “Teaching the Duck to Fly,” Jim Lazar spoke to the Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners about aligning load and resources to integrate increasing amounts of variable renewable energy. Ramping challenges caused by an increase in variable renewables can be mitigated using existing technology for water heating storage and air conditioning storage. Mr. Lazar estimates that these two strategies alone would be adequate to support around 30 percent variable renewable energy on a regional power grid. Thermal storage is not only cheaper than electricity storage, it is also more efficient.