Inhabitat stated in their article that many countries are on the brink of becoming self-sufficient in their clean energy production, thanks to the many advances in battery storage technology, allowing electricity from renewable sources to be stored and used any time of the day.
As renewable energy generation methods have developed over the years, many utility companies have struggled with integrating clean energy in usable ways. Now, scientists at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs and other agencies are working on energy storage projects funded by the United States Department of Energy. The department stated that the industry can be transformed within 5-10 years.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy or ARPA-E, a division of the US Department of Energy, was founded in 2009 to oversee these projects. Without pointing to any specific discovery or invention, ARPA-E insists that the solution lies amid the 75 projects the agency is funding. This breakthrough renewable energy storage is expected to be developed for large-scale usage within 5-10 years.
According to Ellen Williams, ARPA-E director, they think that they have reached some breakthrough in battery storage – in the sense of demonstrating that they can create a new approach to battery technology, make it work, make it commercially viable and then have the product out in communities doing its thing.
The battery systems being developed suggest a wide range of approaches to long-term renewable energy storage. Ranging from hybrid fuel-cell to zinc-air batteries, next-generation flywheels, a rhubarb derivative presented by Harvard and a system that stores energy as heat in molten glass. The project is one of the 75 government-funded research projects leading to a viable battery storage device cheaper than the current grid systems.
With all the projects funded by the agency, 3 already have grid-scale and backup batteries on the market and 6 others are in the process of developing new batteries. Each of these promises efficiency and cost-effective energy storage that could make it possible stop fossil fuel dependency for good.
Featured Image Credit: Portland General Electric