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Battery Storage solutions for Renewable Energy

Battery Storage solutions for Renewable Energy

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With the growing reliance on solar and wind power, questions over how excess energy can be stored have become increasingly important. Most of the time, the availability of wind or sunshine may not match up with the variable demand for power. The variable nature of these sources is a roadblock to widespread adoption of these technologies. As a result, many companies have been in search for solutions to this problem which, once remedied, will make renewable energy more widespread.

Aquion, a start-up company, believes it has found the solution. It has created a new battery cheaper than a lead-acid battery (already the cheapest type of battery) with the ability to last twice as long. Because these batteries are light-weight and inexpensive, their applications do not extend to cars or portable electronics. However, the strength in this technologies lies in the fact that the batteries can be bought in large quantities and be stationed in warehouses, storing large amounts of power from the grid.

Another possible solutions lies in a new type of battery demonstrated by a team of scientists and engineers at Harvard. Using a grant from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Project Agency- Energy (ARPA-E),  Harvard team created a battery using flow battery technology to store almost 50 hours worth of energy. This makes it feasible for people to use the power generated by solar or wind technology even when neither of the sources are present. Furthermore, 20 percent of the world does not have access to a power distribution network, making it simpler for people with solar rooftops to have a backup source of energy.

2014 is off to a good start with breakthroughs in battery technology. Continued research and development will continue to cut costs and maximize efficiency, making wind and solar power more commonplace in our energy strategies.