When you can’t rely on the wind and the sun

Solving big energy problems with household hot-water tanks

One of the major challenges with introducing mass wind- and solar-generated electricity is that nobody can be sure when the wind will blow and the sun shine. So the electrical grid needs a way to store power from peak-generation hours for use when there’s less being churned out. Now a British scientist proposes a centralized system for coordinating millions of ordinary household water heaters: they would be switched on to store heat at peak production hours for use in showers or washing machines whenever needed. Don’t laugh: in New Zealand, Florida and South Africa, versions of the scheme have already proven highly effective.

The Guardian