An Australian National University study has found pumped hydro storage has the potential to build an electricity grid with 100% renewable energy as reported by CNBC.
Andre Blakers of ANU stated that the zero-emissions grid would be supported by pumped-hydro storage. It would mainly remain on wind and solar PV technology, negating the country’s need for coal and gas-fired power.
Almost all new generation capacity in Australia was being provided by wind and solar as stated by Blakers but renewable only accounts 15% of generation, with coal-fired power stations remaining dominant.
A 100% stabilised renewable energy electricity system would cost around $75/megawatt-hour, which is cheaper than power derived from coal and gas.
The Australian National University stated that they are studying the potential of short-term off-river pumped hydro energy storage. It is made up of a pair of reservoirs, separated by 300 and 900 meters in altitude and then connected by a pipe and turbine.