Rochester Institute of Technology Researcher to Study Energy Storage in US grid
August 2, 2017
A researcher from Rochester Institute of Technology has received a $149,000 collaborative research grant from the National Science Foundation to study the environmental effects of energy storage on the electricity grid.
Over the past 10 years, the energy storage industry has grown rapidly, enabling energy produced by wind, water and solar power to be stored in a variety of forms and capabilities, including fast-discharge batteries and flywheels for use in national energy grids. Many companies, from Tesla to General Electric, are offering grid-scale batteries or other storage technologies, and adoption of the technology is ramping up.
“The emissions effects that their usage would cause is mostly unstudied and a bit complicated,” said Eric Hittinger, an assistant professor of public policy at RIT’s College of Liberal Arts and a faculty member at RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “If you have big batteries on the grid, it tends to shift around which generators are used and when they are used. On the plus side, storage can be used to save up excess renewable energy rather than waste it. But storage might also mean more use of low-cost coal generation or other fossil fuels.”