Wednesday 15 May 2019 | 11:15-12:30
It is widely recognised that the transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy systems will require a significant increase in the use of clean generation options, including wind and solar power. In turn, by their very nature these resources make power supply more volatile, reflecting the varying availability of wind and sunlight. Dealing with this new situation requires an increase in the flexibility of power systems. Flexibility in this context refers to the ability of a power system to maintain a reliable and continuous service when faced with potentially rapid changes in supply or demand. Flexible power plants, grid infrastructure, demand side response – and storage – can provide this flexibility.
Pumped hydropower storage (PHS) accounts for the vast majority of installed energy storage capacity worldwide. PHS provides large-scale energy storage, enabling balancing of variable renewable resources such as wind and solar PV on time scales from seconds to seasons, and it can also provide a suite of non-energy services to support reliable grid operation. Recent deployment of PHS, however, has varied significantly across countries and regions.
This panel will investigate the underlying drivers of PHS deployment. What technical, economic, market, and policy drivers have caused decision-makers to invest in the large-scale energy storage provided by PHS? How have they handled the set of uncertainties associated with investment in such a long-lived asset? What changes, if any, do panellists anticipate in the role of PHS as the grid evolves?