Since the discovery of electricity, we have sought effective methods to store that energy for use on demand. Over the last century, the energy storage industry has continued to evolve and adapt to changing energy requirements and advances in technology.
Energy storage systems provide a wide array of technological approaches to managing our power supply in order to create a more resilient energy infrastructure and bring cost savings to utilities and consumers. To help understand the diverse approaches currently being deployed around the world, we have divided them into six main categories:
- – Solid State Batteries: a range of electrochemical storage solutions, including advanced chemistry batteries and capacitors
- – Flow Batteries: batteries where the energy stored directly in the electrolyte solution for longer cycle life, and quick response times
- – Flywheels: mechanical devices that harness rotational energy to deliver instantaneous electricity
- – Compressed Air Energy Storage: utilizing compressed air to create a potent energy reserve
- – Thermal: capturing hear and cold to create energy on demand
- – Pumped Hydro-Power: creating large-scale reservoirs of energy with water
Storage of electricity in large quantities is reaching an inflection point, poised to give a big boost to renewables, to disrupt business models across the electrical industry, and to tap into a market that will eventually top many of tens of billions of dollars per year, and trillions of dollars cumulatively over the coming decades.
The capture of energy via an accumulator or battery is becoming one of the biggest sectors within renewables, particularly with the emergence of electric vehicles.
In 2017, Senators Al Franken of Minnesota and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico introduced Advancing Grid Storage Act (AGSA), which would devote more than $1 billion in research, technical assistance and grants to encourage energy storage in the United States.