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Articles on Power grid

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Making sense of what’s tripping the switch on South Africa’s electricity supply. AJ Paulsen via GettyImages

South Africa’s power crisis: five essential reads

Five essential reads on why South Africa is failing to keep the lights on.
By pairing solar power and battery storage, hybrids can keep providing electricity after dark. Petmal via Getty Images

Meet the power plant of the future: Solar + battery hybrids are poised for explosive growth

The largest category of power plants applying to connect to the US grid are now solar, and over a third of those are hybrids that include battery storage.
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.

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