Sustainable Cities™

Spain: Seville - pioneering example of green energy storage

In December 2013 the Spanish city, Seville became the first city in Europe to install a new kind of storage system for renewable energy. This storage system makes it possible for the area to store excess energy from solar and wind sources etc. and distribute that energy to households when needed.

Lagring af grøn energi i Spanien_2
Foto: Red Electric de Espania (REE)

In theAlmacenaproject the 1 MW/3 MWh battery will mainly store renewable energy such as solar and wind, and it has the capacity to supply 300 households with energy. The storage system, which was developed by the American company, A123 Energy Solutions, was installed in December 2013 for the Spanish supply company, Red Electric de Espania (REE) in the small town of Carmona on the outskirts of Seville. The system is the first of its kind in Europe, connected to the power grid.

How can we make better use of nature's resources?

Renewable energy is not consistent or sustainable, when it comes to the amount of energy produced or the time at which it is produced.  This has given rise to challenges: for example, when energy is produced from wind or waves during the night, when our consumption is at its lowest. In order to exploit this nightly produced energy, systems such as "smart grid" technologies have focused on solutions to switch on washing machines and dishwashers etc. during the night.

"Pumped storage" is another way of storing energy. Water is pumped up onto a higher level in periods, when there is a low demand for energy. The water then flows back down via turbines, when demand is high. In March 2012 this was the most efficient method of storing renewable energy, and on the global level the method was used in 99% of the places, where energy was stored. But these methods can only remedy and control our consumption to a certain extent. So new methods of storing renewable energy have been in great demand.

Lagring af grøn energi i Spanien

Photo:Red Electric de Espania (REE)

The interest in renewable energy is on the increase

A battery, which makes it possible to store excess renewable energy, means that better use can be made of nature's resources. But it also helps to increase interest in investing in renewable energy, in both the public and private sectors. The battery, as a general storage method, was developed over a number of years, but until recently this method of storage was expensive and lacked a substantial capacity.

However, with their Almacenaproject in Spain, the Spanish energy company has shown that it pays to invest in new technology on behalf of towns and their future. The development of methods and technologies to store renewable energy will not only benefit local users, but also create greater security and stability on a larger scale, when it comes to investment in the green energy sources of the future. This is the claim of a report from the US Department of Energy.



Tuesday, March 04, 2014 / By Nina Kirstine Busk

Last updated Monday, June 30, 2014