2k1Toaster wrote:The grid if available, is the best battery you can have. Let the utilities store energy in water dams or giant underground batteries. It is not economical or a good idea otherwise.
A counterpoint, if I may.
Your judgment that the "...grid...is the best battery..." could be right or wrong depending on what's important to you and/or your starting assumptions.
You seem to be looking at the economics of storage and deciding that the grid is less expensive. It might be worthwhile to look at exactly what factors "economics" includes and ignores. Thermodynamics is one really important factor that economics doesn't consider. Climate change, poor air quality, acid rain, loss of biodiversity, the down-stream effects of dams, and poisonous fish that kids and pregnant mothers can't eat are others.
Including at least some of the externalities traditional economics ignores is enough to dramatically change the judgement on using the grid.
Not an attack or a judgement, just a quick view of what I've been trying to wrap my mind around as I've been trying to cut the cords.
Cost is not the only option. In fact I am generally the first to point out that money isn't everything and gladly pay more for something with less of an impact.
However, individual battery solutions don't seem like the way to go. Everyone storing their own inefficient batteries that degrade and wear out versus the government or utility companies storing power in a large industrial way. For instance it is not feasible for you or I to build a dam and pump water upstream with excess solar production, but a utility can.
My assumptions come from the point of view that the grid is not a bad idea and very stable. I have maybe an hour or less per year where the grid goes down. Last year it was down for a grand total of 2 hours because a dump truck ran into a ground-level neighbourhood distribution box after the guy who parked it didn't apply the parking brake. Whoops! 2 hours out of a year is 0.0228% downtime, or 99.9772% reliability. Why distribute all these inefficiencies to individual areas to cover a problem that doesn't exist.
In the Armageddon scenario, I already have a way of power the house without the grid (solar) and something tells me that will be the least of my worries. And who would want to draw out their existence longer in a world without the internet!!!!! (j/k) But seriously, in Armageddon where the grid goes down indefinitely, I will have better things to worry about, and I probably won't be running 80KWh a day. My 11KW of panels will be more than I could use, until the zombies rip them from my roof.
If you live in sub-Saharan Africa where you might be lucky to get 2 hours a day of grid power if it is on at all that day or where the "stable" parts still experience 4-5 power cuts of greater than 3 hours (PER WEEK!) then obviously personal storage looks a little better. But here in the western world, it is not something we have to worry about and should have the guts, brains, and money to throw money at the problem collectively.