We usually don’t think about the wonderful service fossil fuels provide in terms of being a store of heat energy for winter, the time when there is a greater need for heat energy. Figure 1 shows dramatically how, in the US, the residential usage of heating fuels spikes during the winter months.
Solar energy is most abundantly available in the May-June-July period, making it a poor candidate for fixing the problem of the need for winter heat.
In some ways, the lack of availability of fuels for winter is a canary in the coal mine regarding future energy shortages. People have been concerned about oil shortages, but winter fuel shortages are, in many ways, just as bad. They can result in people “freezing in the dark.”
In this post, I will look at some of the issues involved.
 Batteries are suitable for fine-tuning the precise time during a 24-hour period solar electricity is used. They cannot be scaled up to store solar energy from summer to winter.
In today’s world, batteries can be used to delay the use of solar electricity for at most a few hours. In exceptional situations, perhaps the holding period can be increased to a few days.
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