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Solar Production Technology
Government begins battery offensive
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Storing energy: Ceramics store heat well. Researches want to improve this property further. (Photo: DLR)
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A lot of work: The network expansion is complex and expensive. Energy storage is an alternative. (Photo: RWE)
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Image of the future: Such energy storage devices could be built near solar and wind power plants in the future. (Photo: Siemens)
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Fill up on sun: Solar car ports supply electricity for hybrid or fuel cell vehicles – this also relieves the network. (Photo: Solarworld)
The Federal Government is now relying more heavily on energy storage alongside a network upgrade for the change to alternative forms of energy. In July, the Federal Ministries for the Environment, Economy and Research launched a total of 60 research projects. In order to cover 80% of energy demand with renewable energies by 2050, we require a quick market entry of new energy storage devices” says Environment Minister Peter Altmaier.
The new funding initiative has four emphases. The first project field is called “wind-hydrogen linking”, the second “batteries in distribution networks”. In two other research projects, the topics of “energy system analysis” and “thermal storage devices” are to be promoted. The quantity of subsidies used is not yet clear. The licensing procedures for the projects are still underway according to the Ministry for the Environment.
The first two topic areas are directly relevant to photovoltaics. The fundamental aim in the area of “wind-hydrogen linking” is the development of more efficient electrolysers. These systems are set to be assigned a key role as they can use excess solar and wind energy to convert water into oxygen and storable hydrogen gas. They thus prevent networks from being overloaded when there is too much sun or wind. The hydrogen can either be used directly for fuel cell vehicles or synthesised with carbon dioxide in methanisation plants into methane gas, which can be stored very easily in the existing natural gas network.