Winter Solar Energy Shortage Could Be Solved By Increasing Storage Capacity


ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Solar energy is plentiful in the summer, but when cold winter mornings return, a Cornell researcher has found the Northeast will still rely on fossil fuels for heat.  

During a New York winter, the sun does not provide enough energy when it is needed most. Instead, most of it comes at midday.  

In the morning and evening, energy companies must rely on fossil fuels to meet consumer demands. Max Zhang, who teaches Mechanical Engineering at Cornell, says the northeast can reduce its reliance on fossil fuels by developing power storage technologies.

“If all we end up with is solar dominated energy systems,” Jhang said, “that will pose a challenge for ‘ramping’ so, that we have to deal with later.”

Zhang sees no reason that New York can not begin to work on storage solutions now.

In California, he says utility scale solar companies are required be able to store energy.  And in Texas, they hope to resolve ramping problems by pairing wind and other renewable energies with solar.