🔙Last week I discussed how we need more flexibility when storing surplus energy. While hydrogen is definitely a big part of the long-term solution for this problem, it is not available yet. So we need to look elsewhere, and luckily some great minds had brilliant ideas. One of them goes in hand with the concept of sector coupling.
🤝Sector coupling or integrated energy is a term that describes the merging of the traditional four sectors (electricity, mobility, heat supply and industry/manufacturing) into smart energy solutions. The concept behind it is that rather than considering each sector separately, a holistic approach creates synergies that are beneficial for more than one, if not all sectors. One essential part of sector coupling and to unlock its full potential is how we are going to store energy, that is also needed for e.g. heat pumps and e-mobility charging.
🏭A possibility for the problem of large-scale energy storage this would be to transform coal power plants into thermal energy storage. Surplus energy would be used to heat a liquid or object which would then in turn power a turbine via steam to generate and redistribute big amounts of energy. The produced heat could also be used for district heating. A great side effect:
decommissioned power plants would still be used for a new, green purpose.
🤔Do you think this possible solution is the way to go? Or do you know of other great ideas? Let me know!