Battery that could run all Australia for 10 hours?

Imagine a giant hydro dam that acted as a ‘battery’ for Australia for when the renewables went down. Now imagine that it is on a flat desert plain instead of a traditional hydro dam wrecking a beautiful valley somewhere.

Meet the Nullarbor hydro dam concept which just uses seawater!

Simply pump the seawater up into the dam when you have excess solar and wind. When the sun goes down and you need some energy back, run it back down the 90 meter cliff through the hydro dam turbines back into the sea.

Now imagine that it could run Australia for 10 hours if all the renewables went down at once (which they won’t).

The details are found here. (PDF warning, 155 pages of renewable energy plan, and the hydro dam starts on page 49).

I’m pretty sure nukes will be far, far cheaper than these attempts to make renewables baseload, but who knows whether we can make our politicians see sense? And isn’t this journey into sustainability fascinating?

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5 Responses to Battery that could run all Australia for 10 hours?

  1. Thats possible.

    There is a German Engeneer that had the idea of building a 11km diameter reservoir.
    It would need some hell of earth movement, but not as much as cole mining…it would still yield more capacity than you would get from mining cole.

  2. Eclipse Now says:

    Interesting. It seems to be inland and therefore hungry on the fresh water, but I’d love to see something in English costing out the Aussie Bite proposal. But thanks for that anyway.

  3. Its Dr. Ing. Popps phd. Thesis. He is defending it pretty well in german, comparing it to existing earth wall damms and pump storage.
    Maybe you can get an english statement by him.

    or try goole translate this site.

    try to read his extensive replies.

    I would still love his idea to be combined with the kitegen instead of windturbines. I wrote to him some day, got a nice reply but he does not seem to bother to mention the kitegen anywhere on his page or in his comments.

  4. heavyweather says:

    The fresh water consumption is not really an issue. It is planned to fill it in flood events which are fairly common in Germany.

    But I guess it is not needed. We already have a huge gas network and can combine that with cheap wind (kitegen) and pv.
    We can also drive with gas until batteries are available.

    There is one region noteworthy that is already over 80% renewable with wind, pv, pellets, biomass, biomethan and “windgas”. The gas network is a huge storage in fact and available everywhere.

  5. heavyweather says:

    Just wanted to add…

    The grid has a capacity of 0.04TWh.
    Pumped storage in Germany has a capacity of 0.6TWh.
    The gas network has a capacity of 514TWh.

    Greenpeace is starting to sell 100% windgas with 1.10.2011.

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