Hydro Storage: How to store renewable energy in a rock

We need lots of crazy ideas to solve our global energy problem. Lowering CO2 emissions is mandatory to reach a sustainable level in energy production where even our grandchildren find a habitable planet to live on. A good example for this type of ideas is shown in the  below video of a TEDx contribution presented in Stuttgart, Germany in 2013.

Eduard Heindl explains his vision of a new kind of energy storage that is  similar to pumped hydro storage — with the little difference that we don’t pump the water up but down. The concept shows that pressurized water would rise a huge block of stone out of the ground and therefore create potential energy.

Hydraulic Hydro Storage

energy storage Hydraulic Hydro

Hydraulic Hydro Storage – lifting a rock of half a mile in diameter

The electricity needed to raise the block would be created by solar panels. At night the pressurized water would be released through turbines and generate energy again. The system can be a closed loop where the same water is used all over again.

Storing energy created by photovoltaic is the key factor to make renewable energy work in a reliable way.

50% photovoltaic by 2028

solar, photovoltaic

Projected growth rate of solar

Currently mankind is consuming about 6.5 billion tons of coal every year and this number is very likely to go up. In less than a century we will have run out of coal, gas and oil and “hard energy” will be gone forever. So the only solution is to look up to the best renewable energy source we have. More energy from the sun reaches earth in one hour than is used globally in one year. Global growth rate of photovoltaic is about 30% and by 2028 we will be able to supply 50% of our energy demand with it. But it all depends on the capability to store excess energy during daytime.

Recommended also: Flywheel, Energy in the Basement, Manifesto

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