Renewable Energy Glossary
May also be referred to as “Power” or “Power Generation”
Producing electricity (which is not readily available in nature in any significant amount for use) from sources of fuel / primary energy. Electricity is most often generated at a power plant (power station) by electromechanical generators.
These generators are primarily driven by heat engines fueled by combustion or nuclear fission or by other means (kinetic energy of flowing water & wind, photovoltaics, or geothermal power).
For electric power industries (utilities) – this is the first stage in delivering electricity to the end user.
This term may be used to describe two things.
- First, Energy Shifting may be used to describe the process of using of energy storage systems (ESS) to store excess solar energy to be distributed at night or when there is a peak in demand on a very hot day. A more in-depth discussion about the types of ESS and how they improve the reliability of energy can be found at this link: Implementing Energy Storage at the Caterpillar Industries Website.
- Second, Energy Shifting may also be used to describe (from a social-political-cultural point of view) the move from traditional fossil-fuel generation to renewables for electricity generation. Check out this link NY Times, December 2018 to see how each state in the U.S. is implementing Energy Shifting in this regard.
Energy Storage Systems (ESS)
Energy Storage Systems (often referred to as “ESS“) are the set of methods and technologies used to store electricity.
From the StudentEnergy.org site, as follows:
There are many different forms of energy storage.
- Solid State Batteries: a range of electrochemical storage solutions, including advanced chemistry batteries and capacitors
- Flow Batteries: batteries where the energy is stored directly in the electrolyte solution enabling longer charge/discharge cycles, usually four hours each.
- Flywheels: mechanical devices that harness rotational energy to deliver instantaneous electricity
- Compressed Air: utilize compressed air to create energy reserves
- Pumped hydro-power: creates energy reserves by using gravity and the manipulation of water elevation
- Thermal: capturing heat or cold to create energy