One of the very few limitations of solar and wind energy is their non programmability. In other words, if there is some light, photovoltaic produces energy regardless of its immediate use and the same applies to the wind.
The production of normal fossil fuel power stations, on the other hand, can be modulated moment by moment, based on power demand from the electrical system. If there is no power consumption and the absorption is zero, the output can be set to zero. For photovoltaic and wind power plants this is not possible.
The technology, however, comes towards us and, thanks to light and space-saving batteries, mostly based on lithium-ion technology, we can store the energy produced by renewable energy plants and use it when needed.
The criterion to be adopted for normal storage installations is to maximize self-consumption. The plant must be designed to bring as close to zero as possible the power consumption from the grid, in any time slot.
A storage system, if installed with intelligent criterion, allows almost total self-consumption and therefore independence from the grid (whichever the operator may be). This brings great savings to the user who builds the plant, but also for the entire country system as it reduces the purchase of fossil fuels (gas, coal, oil) for heating. Italy used to spend about 60 billion Euros per year for the energy bill in 2010. In 2014, this expense dropped to about 45 billion and in 2015 it dropped to about 35 billion. Part of the decrease of the cost is due to the drop in oil prices, but a substantial part (between 7 and 9 billion) is due to the positive impact of renewable energies.
Zucchetti Centro Sistemi offers a very accurate simulator to calculate the best size of the plant based on the real consumption at the site where the plant is being built.
Furthermore, the ZCS Azzurro Storage System is installed after the photovoltaic production meter and this makes it almost perfect for any new plant, but also for retrofitting existing plants, namely existing systems that are very old and connected to anyone of the “Conto Energia” (national government incentives) of the past. I am not aware at this time of a simpler, more efficient, cheaper and easier to install storage systems than ZCS Azzurro.
If it is true that energy is a primary asset (such as water and health) without which no development is possible, saving and energy conservation can only help to improve our society and avoid conflicts, even devastating ones, often fought for the conquest and control of the energy sources.