The Danish company European Energy's new method 'GigaStorage' could solve one of the biggest problems in the green transition away from coal, oil and gas: How to you store green energy from renewable energy sources?
By adding green energy from wind turbines or solar cells to water basins with a depth of 20 metres, the future’s energy system could look considerably different.
The Danish company European Energy is trying to patent a new method called GigaStorage, which could solve one of the biggest problems in the green transition away from coal, oil and gas: How to you store green energy from renewable energy sources?
Since 2004, the company has developed or built wind farms and solar parks in twelve European countries for almost EUR 1 billion, informs the CEO Knud-Erik Andersen.
– In this endeavour, the perspective is be able to reduce fossil fuels quickly – fossil fuel that we still use to a large extent. The same goes for our large import of biomass such as wood chips and other materials, says Knud-Erik Andersen.
The solution consists in sending electricity from wind turbines and solar cells through heat pumps or kettles. The electricity will heat water in the deep basins when the price of electricity is low. Then several months later, the water will be utilised for district heating.
Maximum 20 percent heat loss
During the season, the level of heat loss is low, a maximum of 20 percent. As two thirds of the population is connected to the district heating system, in time the majority of Danish consumers will be able to access cheap and CO2-neutral district heating.
– There is no limit to the size of the facility we could build. We now have the possibility for regulation that Denmark has been asking for, says Knud-Erik Andersen.
At plant in Esbjerg will be the first to apply GigaStorage on a larger scale in two to three years’ time. It has already been partly tested on a smaller scale in projects conducted in Vojens and Gram.
Together with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), European Energy has sought funding from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020” for a demonstration plant in Esbjerg.
In Esbjerg the hope is to house GigaStorage, says the first Deputy Mayor of Esbjerg and Director at Din Forsyning Jesper Frost Rasmussen.
Din Forsyning will be in charge of supplying water and heat as well as managing water waste and waste from 100.000 citizens in the municipalities of Esbjerg and Varde.
GigaStorage could redress our situation, says Jesper Frost Rasmussen:
– This seems to be a possible ‘game changer’ in energy policy as systems would really become interconnected. It is truly interesting for us living in Esbjerg and it will definitely also be interesting for the country and for the rest of the world.
At present, Esbjerg has so much surplus heat from its incineration plant, that they occasionally have to send it directly out into the Danish Wadden Sea. GigaStorage could change that.
– We would be able to replace coal and replace it with 100 percent green energy. That would also contribute to a cheaper heating bill, states Jesper Frost Rasmussen.