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Earth Power Technology

Belgium Plans Artificial Island To Store Wind Power 242

Posted by samzenpus
from the island-of-lost-watts dept.
bmcage writes "Belgium wants to build an artificial energy storage island within 5 years. The island will store excess energy produced at night from the offshore wind farms already present in the North-Sea. From the article: 'Belgium is planning to build a doughnut-shaped island in the North Sea that will store wind energy by pumping water out of a hollow in the middle, as it looks for ways to lessen its reliance on nuclear power. One of the biggest problems with electricity is that it is difficult to store and the issue is exaggerated in the case of renewable energy from wind or sun because it is intermittent depending on the weather. "We have a lot of energy from the wind mills and sometimes it just gets lost because there isn't enough demand for the electricity," said a spokeswoman for Belgium's North Sea minister Johan Vande Lanotte.'"
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Belgium Plans Artificial Island To Store Wind Power

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  • by some old guy (674482) on Friday January 18, 2013 @07:03AM (#42624307)

    Weather and sunlight are not, and cannot be, intermittent. They can be variable and cyclical, but not intermittent. There is always weather, and the sun does not shut down at sunset.

    The engineer in me wonders what happens when an extended period of calm, cloudy weather fails to yield enough surplus energy to pump up their doughnut.

    Perhaps they should consult the experts at Krispy Kreme.

    Or redesign it as a Belgian waffle?

    Now I'm sorry I missed breakfast.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @07:48AM (#42624471)

    First, i'm Dutch, the northern neighbor of the Belgians, and we like to make jokes of each other.

    But why make an island first?

    Or they could used the Netherlands, as far as I remember most of it is below sea-level anyway :)

  • by myowntrueself (607117) on Friday January 18, 2013 @07:58AM (#42624507)

    As a US DoD acquisitions type ... we do "cost analysis" ... The problem is that we're using cost estimates made by analogy, handcuffed by regulations and instructions that add an order of magnitude to cost and complexity of all projects, working with contractors who are so bad at business that they can only get government contracts.

    Does anyone ever do an analysis of the costs of doing a cost analysis?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @08:33AM (#42624611)

    While your questions have some merit, I find it strange that with announcements like this, people always seem to assume that no thought or planning has gone into it whatsoever. Without any specific knowledge on the subject...

    Allow me to stop you there and say, you must be new here. It's a proven fact that /. is populated by the best of the best. Everyone who's anyone here are combination lawyers, sociologists, engineers, mathematicians, physicists, nuclear scientists, astronauts, psychologists, secret agents, trashmen, and consultants.

    Oh, and some of us even have girlfriends.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:35PM (#42626745)

    It will use a piece of very advanced high-tech equipment known among Engineers as a "grating" [wikipedia.org].

    Truly we live in exciting times.

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