Industry White Paper

Renewables: The Energy of the Future and Its Efficient Implementation Together with Energy Storage Systems

April 17, 2020 by Infineon Technologies

Overview

Few of us take the time to think about how the electrical energy we use in our homes, places of work, or transportation actually gets from where it is generated to our light bulbs, power sockets, and trains. However, ongoing discussions about climate change have highlighted that there is room for broadening the range of energy sources we use to generate electricity, while also improving the reliability of the energy supply, beyond just adding more fossil fuel and nuclear power plants.

Renewables, such as wind and solar, all provide fossil-fuel-free alternatives to energy generation, and have had an impact on the electricity generation mix. However, these sources are dependent on weather conditions, and on the site where they can be installed.

Electricity generation and the transmission of that energy is quite a complicated affair. Because energy has typically always been generated on demand, procedures for Demand-Side Management (DSM) have been the core approach to balance supply and demand. This ranges from reserve power generation on the one side, such as pumped-storage hydroelectricity, to physically reducing demand at the sites of specific large power users for short periods of time.

Wind and solar energy, unlike their fossil-fuel alternatives, cannot be relied upon to provide the necessary fast response to plug load gaps in power generation. Instead, it makes more sense to collect and store this energy when it is generated, making it available for use at a later date. For this purpose, Energy Storage Solutions (ESS), large and small, are being developed, providing power for everything from charging electric vehicles to powering cities.

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