Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Belgium plans island for wind energy storage

Summary
Summary text:

Artificial atoll in North Sea will store energy generated by Belgium's network of offshore turbines.

Artificial atoll in North Sea will store energy generated by Belgium's network of offshore turbines.

Belgium has proposed an artificial island in the North Sea, storing wind energy generated by its network of offshore turbines. The island is part of a wider move to shut down its nuclear programme by 2025, in line with a number of other European states.

Nuclear accounted for 57% of Belgium's energy in 2011, and the closure of its oldest reactor was postponed last year when concerns were raised over future energy supply.

The artificial island will use pumped storage techniques to store the 2,000MW its offshore wind farms could be generating by 2020. The system will work by pumping water from a reservoir in the centre of the island, then letting it back in through hydropower turbines as and when the country's demand exceeds its supply. This will help overcome the thorny problem of wind's intermittency. While pumped storage is a proven technology, this will be the first time it's been used for offshore wind.

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http://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/belgium-plans-i


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