If the effort, time and money to approve the Keystone Pipeline had went into research into energy conservation, energy reduction and energy efficiency then we would probably had more oil left in the ground but that is not the way to do business it? The oil industry only survives if it pumps more and ever more oil and reduction in consumption isn't at all good for the oil industry. Both the President and congress have failed miserably on these fronts.
Twin Falls Hydro station began generating electricity in 1963 but in 1974 it was mothballed ever since for the following reason. Located on the Unknown River in Labrador, Canada, it was determined that better use of the water would be achieved if the flow of the Unknown River was diverted to the Smallwood Reservoir as part of the Churchill Falls 5000 MW power project which started generating electricity at a later date. The power lines, dam, generators are all left in a state of readiness should the water management agreement change. The main point of my comment is as follows.
Since Twin Falls with its 225 MW capacity is essentially still in a state of readiness except for the water supply for the reservoir, one could use Wind Turbines to power a Pumped Storage system and refill the reservoir with off peak power. The Wind Turbines could be built off site and transported during winter for installation on the Smallwood Reservoir with minimal environmental impact and during peaked consumption times, feed to the massive grid which is located through Canada and on into the NE USA. During low wind speeds, the reservoir could release water and generate electricity to maintain grid feed. A separate line for transmission line could be installed on the already constructed massive grid running through Quebec and into the USA. This system could have the capacity to produce up to 5000 MW of power or more to the energy hungry NE USA. The technology needed to start this project is now developed with Wind Turbines, Dam Structure, Generating Capacity and Power Lines are all in place and the customers for this clean renewable power are in the NE USA. What is needed is an organization to hammer out the details and produce an agreement between the provinces of NL and Quebec on water management and grid transmission. Remember, this could produce as much as 10 Nuclear plants on what is essentially a very minimal environmental footprint.
Check out the following link for further info:
There is another way to attract investors back. Combine wind power with wave, tidal and ocean thermal to reduce costs. Renewable energy interests are to fractured and need to cooperate on a massive scale to beat groups like the Koch brothers and their empires.
It is in insurance companies that we should look for new attitudes. They will be directly affected by climate change and conversely directly affect us. When disaster strikes and the power is out, new areas such as storage will enable the pumps to keep going during flooding, the heat to stay on in cold snaps and communications to be kept open for emergency personnel all of which will minimize risk which is what Insurance CEO's want to hear.
Last year in Canada, we had a cold snap and the power was out. One of our biggest fears wasn't freezing to death (such things are left for the entertainment industry) but freezing water pipes which upon thawing would create a massive amount of water damage to homes and businesses and a mass amount of claims submitted to insurance companies. Luckily in a 12 hour power outage at -25C, disaster to just about all homes and businesses was prevented by home owners having backup heat such as wood stoves, propane fireplaces and generators connected to the power systems to enable conventional electric dependant heating systems to be kept on. Many people even considered the idea of electric cars so that a fully charged battery could have its charge reversed to supply power to the house from which it received its power before.
It seems to me that the answer to energy storage would be found in two areas. The first conservation which has to be number one goal of any research and development as well as fiscal and political policy. The second is EV battery systems which must have the capacity to store large amounts of renewable energy and release it to the grid as needed. Battery costs must go down and capacity must go up for this to happen as well as the mind set that EV's aren't up to scratch as compared to gasoline and diesels.
With numbers like that (46%) then it is high time we started looking at the feasibility of EV's with partial solar charging-similar to present hybrid cars. Elon Musk listening?
I agree that this is an idea who's time has come. It reduces the environmental footprint and enables a certain degree of direct control by the end user. Hopefully the heat from these solar panels can be captured also and used for water heating and building heat when the temperature falls. They also reduce the load on AC units since they block the suns heat a certain amount.
I live in eastern Canada where Hydro is king but I have an idea for a Wave Energy Converter which I am working on and I am also interested in energy storage.
If you look at the link shown, I believe it can be used within large Hydro reservoirs to store other types of energy. This would enable solar, wind and others to have a common storage facility easily connected to the grid. it can be compared to a bank or credit union whereby depositors store money for a period of time until needed and then withdrawn.
It is interesting that ships were mentioned in the article. It is high time we looked at a new design for ships whereby ocean going vessels would buy/generate electricity from renewable sources such as wind, wave and tidal, store this energy on board and use it to power the entire ship with excess stored power sold back to the grid on the next port of call.
The solutions needed for wind mill blades may be found in nature. Maybe we should study birds and see how their wind structures are evolved to adapt to certain conditions and apply these principles to turbine blade design.
I think we should demand that all levels of government look at geothermal heat pumps as the main and preferred source of heating and cooling for all houses and buildings. This combined with sound insulation practices, solar panels and ever evolving battery technology could remove heating and AC from the grid altogether.
Nega-watts are always better than Mega-watts any day.