The energetic implications of curtailing versus storing solar- and wind-generated electricity

Published 2013 / 08
Summary Using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data for generation and storage technologies, we calculate which storage and generation technologies result in a net energy gain over curtailment. We present a theoretical framework to calculate how storage affects the energy return on energy investment (EROI) ratios of wind and solar resources. Our methods identify conditions under which it is more energetically favorable to store energy than it is to simply curtail electricity production. In other words: The production and operation of storage technologies causes energy losses. Can these losses be compensated by the energy saved (not curtailed) during the lifetime of the storage technology?
Keywords energy storage, electricity storage, curtailment, volatile electricity, intermittent generation
File name RSC Publishing_Barnhart_20130928_The energetic implications of curtailing versus storing.pdf