Hybrid Cars? How About Hybrid Power Plants?

October 04, 2010

Hybrid energy systems are emerging in both utility-scale plants and on-site generation applications, wedding green technology with fossil fuels or other renewables to enhance supply and cut emissions.

Has the renewable energy industry finally been recognized as a viable source of energy. It seems that more and more projects are teaming up with this free energy source to help reduce emissions, cost, and resources. As time goes on, we will certainly see this hybrid approach to energy generation become more mainstream. It only makes sense to use the energy from the sun during the day and less of the fossil fuel energy at night when the sun sets.

"We're in a fairly early stage in the evolution of the hybrid combination projects. There are still problems to work out, but there is motivation to do this," said Roger Rosendahl, a partner at DLA Piper, which specialises in global project finance. (Renewable Energy World Article)

Wikipedia mentions that Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems (HRES) are becoming popular for remote area power generation applications due to advances in renewable energy technologies and subsequent rise in prices of petroleum products. A hybrid energy system usually consists of two or more renewable energy sources used together to provide increased system efficiency as well as greater balance in energy supply.

An example of a hybrid system would consist of a solar photo-voltaic system and a wind turbine. These two renewable energy technologies generate peak energy during opposite seasons (depending on your geographic location). So during the summer when we have less wind the solar electric system would generate the majority of the renewable energy and in the winter and evenings the wind turbine would do the work.

Hybrid renewable energy systems are not new but there is still some research to be done to determine where these types of systems would be most effective. The age of renewable energy and its contribution to the energy grid is upon us.

How much of your energy comes from the sun and wind?