A strategy paper from Southern California Gas Company (SCGC) has highlighted the importance of varied methods of energy storage to ensuring the West Coast state meets its “ambitious environmental goals”.
“California already produces more renewable energy than residents and business can use on most days,” meaning that new solutions to energy storage are required to manage fluctuations in supply and demand, the paper said.
But the paper suggests that while batteries will continue to be used to manage short-term demand for energy, they “are not well suited for long-term and seasonal energy storage”.
“Hydrogen is a zero-emissions energy resource that has the potential to provide long-term and seasonal energy storage on a scale that batteries cannot.”
A potential solution suggested is power-to-gas technology, which converts surplus wind and solar energy into basic elements— including hydrogen— that can be stored for later use.
SCGC’s paper echoes a November 2018 report from the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, which said: “batteries alone cannot provide the scale of energy storage required to meet seasonal swings in energy demand”.