There are approximately 530,000 potentially viable pumped hydroelectric storage sites worldwide, with a total storage potential of approximately 22 million GWh.

These staggering numbers come from a recently released report by Professor Andrew Blakers and other researchers in the RE100 group at Australian National University.

Hydroelectric power stations already pumped represent 97% of electricity storage worldwide due to its low cost, according to the ANU, and the share of wind and solar photovoltaic power in the power grid is increasing significantly year by year. This means that “additional long distance high voltage transmission, demand side management and local storage are needed to ensure stability.”

ANU researchers identified potential sites and their potential using Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis.

The storage potential of around 22 million GWh “it is about a hundred times more than what is needed to support a 100% renewable electricity system in the world“Said ANU. A rough guide to 100% renewable electricity storage needs, based on an analysis for Australia, is 1 GW of electricity per million people with 20 hours of storage, which equates to 20 GWh per million people .

The locations identified are outside national parks and are mostly closed circuit (not river). Each identified location includes a pair of upper and lower tanks plus a hypothetical tunnel path between the tanks. It includes data such as latitude, longitude, elevation, height, slope, water volume, water area, rock volume, dam wall length, water ratio / rock, the energy storage potential and the approximate relative cost. In a future analysis, vacant areas (existing reservoirs, old mining operations) will be included.

In this complete world atlas of pumped hydroelectric storage sites, users can navigate anywhere in the world and zoom in to get detailed images. Users can explore thousands of sites in specific locations, sorted by size and capital cost. Click on a tank or tunnel to open pop-up windows with detailed information.

The facilities the map refers to are like some of the ones we’ve discussed in eco-inventions, like the Loch Ness pumped hydropower storage plan or the Swiss underground hydropower plant that generates renewable energy for $ 1 million. homes. Based on the same principle, we are talking about the first hybrid wind-hydro turbine.

To note: None of the sites analyzed in this study have been the subject of geological, hydrological, environmental, heritage or other studies, and it is not known whether any particular site would be suitable. The commercial viability of developing these projects is unknown. Land ownership has not been studied, except for the exclusion of certain environmental and urban areas, and no discussions have taken place with landowners or managers.

Someone in your area?

You can consult them on: nationalmap.gov.au