Heiße Steine

CANBERRA: Fragen Sie einen Stromversorgungsingenieur nach erneuerbarer Energie, und er wird Ihnen vermutlich erzählen, dass sie keinen „Grundlaststrom“ liefert. Anders gesagt, man kann sich nicht darauf verlassen, mit erneuerbarer Energie täglich rund um die Uhr mit Strom versorgt zu werden: Manchmal fehlt der Wind, der die Windräder oben auf dem Hügel antreibt. Solaranlagen werden des Nachts nicht von der Sonne beschienen, und selbst Strom aus Wasserkraft kann knapp werden, wenn der Regen ausbleibt.

Das von Natur aus erratische Verhalten der wichtigsten Technologien im Bereich der erneuerbaren Energien stellt die Planer von Stromversorgungssystemen vor ernste Probleme. Es setzt der Menge des durch diese Arten von erneuerbarer Energie produzierten Stroms, der weltweit in nützlicher Weise in die Stromnetze eingespeist werden kann, Grenzen. Schließlich erwarten die Verbraucher, dass immer Strom zur Verfügung steht.

Die technische Lösung besteht darin, als eine wichtige Komponente des Stromerzeugungsmix eine große Menge zuverlässigen Grundlaststroms vorzuhalten und diesen durch „Spitzenstrom“ zu ergänzen, der bei Bedarf ins Netz eingespeichert werden kann. Diese Spitzenstromkapazitäten beruhen in einigen Ländern auf Strom aus Wasserkraft, in der Regel jedoch auf der Verbrennung fossiler Brennstoffe wie Gas, Diesel oder Heizöl.

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