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What do you mean? You can build a pumped storage facility next to each renewable power "plant". Who tells you you have to "pump" water? All you have to do is store the energy into easily recoverable mechanical form. Imagine a spring-loaded electromagnet or something like that [this is where I, not being an engineer, reach my limitations]. Also remember that typically you only need to store one day's worth of power.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 1st, 2006 at 09:54:54 AM EST
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You may need to stor for more than a day. Wind actually often has pretty strong seasonality, with one half of the year producing close to 2/3 of yearly power, and the other half the rest. Monthly variations in some sites can be 3:1 between the best month and the calmest. So to have smooth production over the year (admittedly a tougher requirement than may be needed in practice) might require a couple months' worth of storage.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 1st, 2006 at 11:29:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How does that seasonality correlate with the seasonality in energy demand?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 1st, 2006 at 11:37:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It depends. (sorry, no better answer)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 1st, 2006 at 11:51:23 AM EST
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We could always learn to arrange our life around the seasonality of renewable energy. Tapping into pumped storage must have a price, different from just using the energy as it is produced. Making that price explicit would "teach" us to adjust our behaviour appropriately.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 1st, 2006 at 11:54:28 AM EST
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