Germany has announced that it intends to pay coal power plants to be decommissioned early, perhaps they could instead house huge batteries

While Germany has made great progress in greening its power grid, it still has a substantial amount of coal power plants, and to stand any chance of meeting Germany’s carbon reduction goals these will need to be phased out before they would naturally have come to the end of their life. The German government has proposed spending several billion pounds compensating these facilities for the lost revenue that they would have got.

What will be huge power plant buildings be used for after they have stopped producing power using coal? While in theory they could be transferred simply to burning oil or gas, with some imagination these old polluting power stations could become the mainstay of Germany’s carbon neutral power.

Why don’t we turn these huge buildings into vast batteries instead? Battery storage can be expensive the prices range quite dramatically with price per megawatt hour varying between 200,000 and 750,000.

However assuming it is at the bottom of this range then a price of 20 million dollars could potentially buy as much as 100 megawatt hours. The largest battery in the world is only 129mwh, and this battery in Australia has shown its worth many times over. 

Renewable power can easily provide enough electricity for the world, however most sources of this power are intermittent and if they are to not be backed up by coal power plants we need to have large numbers of massive batteries into which we can put excess solar energy during the day and wind when it blows but use it when it’s required.

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