Connecting...

Could North Sea Rocks Provide Renewables Innovation?

28 Jan 10:00 by Steve Walia

W1siziisijiwmtkvmdevmjkvmtavmzavndkvnjkxlzm4mjm3nzc4x3mucg5nil0swyjwiiwidgh1bwiilci4mdb4nduwiyjdxq

Rocks located in the North Sea may yet hold the latest renewables innovation thanks to their perfect storage facilities. Scientists have discovered that porous rocks on the seabed could be used to store extra power generated from clean energy sources. By doing so, the rocks would be able to release energy on demand.

The highly pressurised hot air would be released to spin a turbine. At the volumes and velocities calculated by scientists, a huge amount of electricity could be released in this way.

The technology behind the innovation is known as compressive air storage, and the hope is that it will sit alongside battery storage solutions to help link the UK's power with other EU nations and to ensure the country has a constant and reliable stream of renewable energy.

The drive behind such innovations is being intensified after Hitachi, the Japanese firm, said that it would no longer be progressing with its original plans to develop a key nuclear energy plant. This leaves a question over the government's plans to fill the energy gap left behind by abandoned nuclear energy plans.

Green groups believe that the power shortfall can be filled by increasing green energy investments, especially in wind energy.

However, critics point out that solar and wind power are both erratic and unable to generate the continuous supply needed to meet Britain's grid needs. Storage devices will allow Britain to continue to invest in clean energy without needing to resort to fossil fuels when renewable supplies dip.

Further test work will now take place to dig into North Sea rocks to create deep wells. In these well sites, huge quantities of air will be injected into sandstone. North Sea formations could store 1.5 times the country's total needs for January and February alone.