Rocky Shores: Good for Energy Storage?

Engineers and geoscientists from the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde say North Sea rocks could act as energy stores.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

Rocks in the seabed off the UK coast could provide long-term storage locations for renewable energy production, as new research conducted by engineers and geoscientists from the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde suggests. An advanced technique could be used to trap compressed air in porous rock formations found in the North Sea using electricity from renewable technologies. The compressed air energy storage (CAES) could later be released to drive a wind or tidal turbine to generate large amounts of electricity.

Using the technique for large-scale storage might even save enough compressed air to meet the UK’s electricity needs during winter, when demand is highest, the study found.

"This method could make it possible to store renewable energy produced in the summer for those chilly winter nights. It can provide a viable, though expensive, option to ensure the UK’s renewable electricity supply is resilient between seasons. More research could help to refine the process and bring costs down," says Dr Julien Mouli-Castillo of the School of GeoSciences.

University of Edinburgh
Windfair Staff
University of Edinburgh, rocks, study, compressed air, North Sea, winter, storage, pressing

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