Will Huge Batteries Save Us From Power Blackouts?

TECHNOLOGY

In projects across the United States, batteries are providing backup power and integrating renewable energy into the nation’s electric grid. (Nat Geo News)

Use this activity to learn more about grid modernization.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit.

Here’s a great diagram of an electrical grid with an energy storage facility. Illustration by Wikichesterdit, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-3.0

Here’s a great diagram of an electrical grid with an energy storage facility.
Illustration by Wikichesterdit, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-3.0

Discussion Ideas
Read through our activity “Conserving Energy through Grid Modernization.” Apply its central questions to the energy storage issues raised in the Nat Geo article.

 

  • Read through the Nat Geo News article on grid-size energy storage. What is the grid?
    • An electrical grid is a network of cables or other devices through which electricity is delivered to consumers.

 

  • Is energy storage a form of grid modernization technology?
    • Yes! Grid modernization technology is any piece or system of infrastructure improvements, expansions, digital monitors, and management technologies that increase the energy efficiency and capabilities of an electric grid.

 

 

  • How might the energy storage technology described in the Nat Geo News article help boost support for alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and tidal?
    • These renewable energy sources are intermittent and often dependent on the weather. Sunshine, wind, and tidal fluctuations limit the amount of energy produced at certain times. Batteries like those described in the article may allow the grid to store energy produced during windy days, for instance, and distribute it on non-windy days.
    • If renewable energy sources were more reliable, demand for the products may increase. This would reduce renewable energy’s reliance on government subsidies, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and allow alternative energy companies to expand and provide more affordable, efficient service.

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

Nat Geo: Will Huge Batteries Save Us From Power Blackouts?

Nat Geo: Conserving Energy through Grid Modernization

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