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01.06.2017 | Original Research | Ausgabe 3/2017 Open Access

International Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering 3/2017

Life-cycle impacts of pumped hydropower storage and battery storage

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering > Ausgabe 3/2017
Autoren:
Andrea Immendoerfer, Ingela Tietze, Heidi Hottenroth, Tobias Viere

Abstract

Energy storage is currently a key focus of the energy debate. In Germany, in particular, the increasing share of power generation from intermittent renewables within the grid requires solutions for dealing with surpluses and shortfalls at various temporal scales. Covering these requirements with the traditional centralised power plants and imports and exports will become increasingly difficult as the share of intermittent generators rises across Europe. Pumped hydropower storage plants have traditionally played a role in providing balancing and ancillary services, and continue to do so. However, the construction of new plants often requires substantial interventions into virgin landscape and bio-habitats; this is often fiercely opposed by local citizens. Utility-scale lithium ion batteries have recently entered the energy scene. Albeit much smaller than most pumped hydropower plants, they can also provide the required balancing and ancillary services. They can be constructed on brownfield sites as and where needed, to support the move towards increasingly decentralised energy systems. Although they are seen by some as a more environmentally friendly option, they do cause impacts relating to the consumption of limited natural resources during the production stage. Addressing initially technological capacity of pumped hydropower storage and utility-scale battery to meet the required services, a simplified LCA will be performed to examine the environmental impacts throughout their life cycles. This includes two sensitivity analyses. Issues addressed in this paper include also methodological issues relating to comparability and those parameters that are pivotal to the LCA result.

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