Storage Effectiveness in Enabling Variable Generation and Avoiding Fossil Emissions

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In this paper, we investigate the relationship between storage and variable generation (VG) and how they can be used to replace fossil-fired technologies and their associated emissions. Unlike fossil generation, VG relies on variable resources (wind, solar, etc.), and the timing of these resources does not always match system needs, creating challenges both in terms of when energy is delivered and the reliability of that delivery. These challenges are typically addressed in one of two ways: paring VG with storage to provide firmed, time-shiftable energy or by building additional VG throughout an interconnection so that adequate amounts of VG are always available. The choice of how much to build of each (storage and VG) is typically an economic one. In this work, we focus on the former case - investigating the role of storage in bringing renewables onto the grid.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5700-86751


  • emissions
  • grid integration
  • pumped storage hydropower
  • storage duration
  • variable generation


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