Challenges related to storage and transfer of solar energy with a case study on long distance power transfer
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The challenges that will be discussed in this thesis are two-fold; the problems related to trans- mission of power over long distances, and the need for energy storage, especially at night. Both of the issues are accentuated by solar power where the distance between production cite and consumer may become large. The need for storage is a consequence of the intermittent nature of solar power, which relies upon the presence of the sunlight. These two concerns differ clearly from the storage and production advantage of power generation from coal power plants which are not dependent on energy storage since its power source is always available. The transition from fossile fuels to other ways to generate electric power is partly driven by increasing fuel costs re ecting gradual depletion of natural resources, and partly by en- vironmental concerns - recently the possibility of an irreversible climate change due to fossil burning in particular. More and more countries are dependent on oil import as the produc- tion of oil gradually is relying on fewer countries. In this regard, solar power has potential to be a important contributor for hydrogen production for a possible future hydrogen based transportation sector. The possibility of chemical storage will also be discussed. The electric grid is becoming a growing challenge with an increasing power fraction com- ing from renewables. A proposed alternative to energy storage is a more modern grid which can control uctuations in the grid more efficiently. This includes construction of high volt- age transmission interconnections between geographically distant regions. A recent report published by the European Climate Foundation (ECF) presents how the European electric grid should be changed to maintain europe's energy security when a large fraction of the total energy comes from renewables. This report will also be assessed.