Solving the Energy Storage Conundrum

Matt Scotland is a freelance journalist specialising in the fields of energy, renewable energy, climate change and sustainability. Caspar Henderson is a writer and journalist. He lives in Oxford.

Among the obstacles in the way of the triumph of renewable energy, one stands out: the lack of cheap, efficient means to store power. Now, it could just be starting to crumble. Matt Scotland and Caspar Henderson report.

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Solar, wind and other renewables are booming as never before. On the face of it, there’s nothing to stop them becoming the dominant source of our electricity sometime during the course of this century.

Except for one big, black fly in the ointment. Our limited ability to store the electricity they generate. Energy storage is the holy grail for renewables, since many of the most promising can only produce power on an intermittent basis (the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow). But to date, no technology has proven cheap – or practical – enough to provide this on the (massive) scale required.

But this could be starting to change. Several new or modified technologies are coming close to market, while a number of governments, with an eye to achieving energy security, are putting financing and policy mechanisms in place to encourage them.

Read more: Solving the Energy Storage Conundrum — Urban Times.

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