According to the tracking tool, the 100 planned projects will increase existing global storage capacity by 50 per cent, from 150 GW to almost 225 GW. The first of these projects will come on line in 2018, and the majority will be operational by 2030.
Known as the world’s ‘water batteries’, pumped storage hydropower is the cleanest and most cost-effective form of energy storage existing today. It makes up more than 95 per cent of global energy storage, next to less than five per cent combined for thermal, electromechanical and electrochemical storage, including lithium batteries.
The Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool is designed for policy-makers, investors and researchers. It shows the status of a pumped storage project, its installed generating and pumping capacity, and its actual or planned date of commissioning.
Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association, announced the tool at the COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany.
“Pumped storage is the cleanest battery on earth, simply cycling water between two water bodies at different elevations. It takes surplus electricity in the system and stores it for use when it is needed. Switching between modes of pumping and generating in seconds, it ensures that renewables generation is not curtailed in the electricity system, and supply and demand are harmonised.” Mr Taylor said.
“This tracking tool is the most comprehensive online resource of its kind. It shines a light on the enormous contribution of pumped storage to meeting the battery demands of clean energy systems, with very high efficiency.”
The latest pumped storage technology offers essential ancillary services such as electric frequency control and voltage regulation, in order to ensure stable and reliable operation of power grids. Along with conventional hydro, it is also a leading solution for restarting a grid after a black-out.