With increasing utilisation of renewable energy sources there are many cases where the ability to site generation within easy reach of demand becomes more limited. In these situations, how the energy is moved from where it is generated to where it is needed becomes a more critical aspect of the overall energy system. More remote locations are more costly to connect to transmission lines, be they electricity networks or pipelines. At the same time the intermittency of renewable energy sources places a greater emphasis on the use of energy storage to balance the different variations in supply and demand over time. Transporting stored energy is one possible way to address both of these concerns simultaneously.
Key findings of the study are:
Electricity transmission represents the least cost solution if electrical energy isrequired at the demand site
Chemical energy carriers do however compare favourably with electricitytransmission where they can be used directly
The use of electro-chemical energy storage media (i.e. a Zinc-Air Battery/shipconcept) is unlikely to represent an economically viable concept as the cost ofelectricity delivered is over six times that of the baseline transmission option