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The U.S. has thousands of lakes and reservoirs that could be paired for pumped hydro storage without the need for rivers. Ollo via Getty Images

Batteries get hyped, but pumped hydro provides the vast majority of long-term energy storage essential for renewable power – here’s how it works

A team of researchers found 35,000 pairs of existing reservoirs, lakes and old mines in the US that could be turned into long-term energy storage – and they don’t need dams on rivers.
Mating laser-driven atomic clocks like the one shown here with microwaves promises more accurate electronic devices. N. Phillips/NIST

Pairing lasers with microwaves makes mind-bogglingly accurate electronic clocks – a potential boon for GPS, cell phones and radar

Researchers have made some of the most accurate clocks imaginable in recent years, but the trick is harnessing those clocks to electronics. Using lasers to tune microwaves bridges the gap.
By centrally controlling when household water heaters (geysers) can be switched on and off, South Africa can ease up electricity demand during peak consumption times. Shutterstock

Smart water heating could help in South Africa’s energy crisis

Centrally switching water heaters on and off at specific times can distribute the demand for electricity and lead to energy saving.
An all-renewable grid will mean more electricity and more transmission lines. Russ Allison Loar/flickr

How to have an all-renewable electric grid

We have all the technologies needed to make the electric grid run on renewables and lower pollution. What are they and what are the barriers to adopting them widely?
Expanding solar power potential more than it’s needed could replace more expensive energy storage. Jamey Stillings

A radical idea to get a high-renewable electric grid: Build way more solar and wind than needed

Solar and wind can’t deliver power on demand. But overbuilding solar and wind, and simply dumping unneeded energy, would go a long way to smoothing out those bumps, study finds.

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