The energy storage challenge


    Briefly put: Exploring news ways of storing energy is bringing scientific and technological advancement to utilities across the world. Storage by way of gas to power, or advanced battery technologies will make it easier to save power from renewable energy generation for when it is needed the most and to manage power quality more effectively.

    One of the biggest challenges with electricity is that you use it when you have it, and if you don’t – you lose it. Yet, while this is a fundamental principle of physics, it is not one that is particularly useful with the new generation of renewable energy technologies. As we cannot arrange for the sun and wind to provide the needed energy at precisely the time we need it, it lies to science to find a way to store the energy that is produced, when it produced and save it for later usage.

    Energy storage is big business – a recent report states that the demand for energy storage will grow to over $10 billion globally. This market, which started off with a value of $200 million in 20121, will see 720MW of distributed energy storage added to the US market alone by 2020. According to the ‘Advanced Energy Storage Systems Market by Technology, By Applications and Geography – Global Trends & Forecast to 2018’ report, both developed and developing countries will soon start making energy storage a priority within energy policy.

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