Energy Storage

The central problem of renewable energy is its intermittent nature, which leads to discussions of technologies needed to store renewable energy. These concerns are overstated, however, as this will not be necessary for many years. What is most needed instead are adaptive loads; the many significant common loads that can effectively use power when it is available, such as running the hot water heater, pool pump, dishwasher, washer and dryer, or even charging an electric vehicle. With thermal storage, even refrigeration, heating, and cooling can be done on a schedule compatible with an intermittent power source.

One solution is appliances that respond to a simple broadcast signal from the power company. AM or pager frequencies could be implemented quickly at low cost and allow electricity usage to more closely correspond to electricity supply. Such adaptive loads would also help manage peak power requirements. I'm unsure what the "Smart-Grid" guys have in mind, but all we really need is something simple with basic security protocols.

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