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Bulk Energy Storage Increases United States Electricity System Emissions 

Author:  | Emissions, Grid, U.S.

Abstract.
Bulk energy storage is generally considered an important contributor for the transition toward a more flexible and sustainable electricity system. Although economically valuable, storage is not fundamentally a “green” technology, leading to reductions in emissions. We model the economic and emissions effects of bulk energy storage providing an energy arbitrage service. We calculate the profits under two scenarios (perfect and imperfect information about future electricity prices), and estimate the effect of bulk storage on net emissions of CO₂, SO₂, and NOx for 20 eGRID subregions in the United States. We find that net system CO₂ emissions resulting from storage operation are nontrivial when compared to the emissions from electricity generation, ranging from 104 to 407 kg/MWh of delivered energy depending on location, storage operation mode, and assumptions regarding carbon intensity. Net NOx emissions range from −0.16 (i.e., producing net savings) to 0.49 kg/MWh, and are generally small when compared to average generation-related emissions. Net SO₂ emissions from storage operation range from −0.01 to 1.7 kg/MWh, depending on location and storage operation mode.

Eric S. Hittinger, Department of Public Policy, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
Inês M. L. Azevedo, Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Environmental Science and Technology, 2015, 49 (5), pp 3203–3210
DOI: 10.1021/es505027p

Download original document: “Bulk Energy Storage Increases United States Electricity System Emissions

This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Queries e-mail.

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