It's interesting that there are cases where a negative EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested), or, in this metric, power density per land unit, is advantageous, such as pumped hydroelectric stations that use up 20% more power than they generate.
The reasons are several fold:
1. They spread power generation more evenly thus smoothing intermittency
2. They can rapidly accommodate peak demand
3. Economic--they use cheaper night electricity to pump the water up to the reservoir
This same dynamic could be combined with solar, wind, other water, geothermal, tidal, or any other generation method (as of now it relies on fossil fuels & nuclear), which, although they represent net loss, they use electricity that might have been lost anyway due to excess
Thus, in times when generation is in excess of what the grid could handle, water would be pumped up, and then later, when generation falls, it pumps it.
These methods use pumps. In theory, water could be pumped into a solar heated device and thus warmed directly to spin a turbine and collect and precipitate, but afaik this isn't feasible on a large scale for many reasons, but maybe could work for houses etc.
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