Wind power will make up much of Europe's future power generation. Several major projects are already being constructed and planned on the Continent, in the North Sea and along the UK coast line. Wind power can only be generated when the wind is blowing, and variations are considerable over time. These variations do not always correspond with the consumption.
A large share of wind power would represent a major challenge to the stability of the transmission systems and the security of supply for the consumers. There is a need for backup capacity in order to generate power on days with no wind and high demand. There is also a need for storage capacity for surplus power on days with strong wind and low demand.
In Norway, with its long history of hydropower generation, we find half of Europe`s reservoir capacity. New pumped-storage power plants in connection with existing reservoirs could be part of the solution in securing a reliable energy system.
On windy days, surplus power could be used to pump water from low to high altitude reservoirs. This water could in turn be released to generate power on days when demand is high and wind levels are low. This cycle can be repeated over and over again.