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The researchers’ idea is to make use of excess electricity produced when demand is low — for example, from wind farms when strong winds are blowing at night — by using electric resistance heaters, which convert electricity into heat.
These devices would use the excess electricity to heat up a large mass of firebricks, which can retain the heat for long periods if they are enclosed in an insulated casing.
The system, which Forsberg calls FIRES (for FIrebrick Resistance-heated Energy Storage), would in effect raise the minimum price of electricity on the utilities market, which currently can plunge to almost zero at times of high production, such as the middle of a sunny day when solar plant outputs are at their peak.
The Scandinavian country's parliament voted 254 to 41 to adopt the Climate Act, with all parties supporting the move except the far-right Swedish Democrats.
The new bill comes after US President Donald Trump announced earlier this month that the US will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, created to strengthen the global response to climate change.
“The transition to a low-carbon economy is potentially a powerful, attractive, and sustainable growth story, marked by higher resilience, more innovation, more liveable cities, robust agriculture, and stronger ecosystems.” The report called for the world to start cutting state subsidies for oil, coal and gas.
“Reducing fossil fuel subsidies is another essential step toward carbon pricing – in effect, these subsidies are similar to a negative emissions price,” it said.