The large-scale deployment of energy storage technology is increasing rapidly, and for times when demand outpaces present output, excess energy is stored for later use.

FREMONT, CA: Effective storage solutions are among the most crucial elements in achieving better sustainability. However, people believe that moving away from fossil fuels would be risky. Critics mostly take issue with the erratic supply of electricity produced by renewable energy sources. Various renewable energies are susceptible to volatility. Consider solar power as an example. In other words, when we need electricity the most during the daytime hours of the summer, solar energy production is at its maximum, whereas it is not the case during the winter. These variations affect solar thermal, wind, and wave power in addition to photovoltaics. However, the most readily available renewable energy sources are hydropower, geothermal energy, and biomass.

Pumped storage continues to rule supreme

A pump for storage is the only means to store electricity on a larger scale to date through hydropower plants, which continue to be the most tested storage system due to their relative affordability. Pumped storage has the biggest market share among mechanical energy storage methods, followed by compressed air and lift storage. The basic operation of pumped storage is relatively straightforward. Renewable energy is used to pump water up a hill and into a reservoir. When necessary, gravity permits the water to flow back down, using turbines to produce energy.

Battery storage systems

The electrochemical storage systems include battery storage systems, including lithium-ion, lead-acid, and redox-flow batteries. Particularly lithium-ion batteries are widely utilized today; almost no smartphone, laptop, or electric vehicle can function without them. Although so far, they have primarily been employed for lower-scale power requirements like those in single and two-family homes, battery storage devices are also used to store electricity from solar and wind power facilities. The potential applications are limited because the storage capacity declines quickly from frequent charging and discharging.

Power-to-X

Power-to-X, or the conversion of electricity into different products, has been gaining popularity for a while. Here, "power" refers to excess electricity that is transformed into different types of energy ("X"), such as power-to-gas (the production of gas from electricity) or power-to-heat (generation of heat from electricity). The production of hydrogen, in particular, is becoming incredibly important among power-to-gas technologies. Water electrolysis with the application of electric current makes hydrogen. The gas is converted chemically to produce fuels and chemicals like methanol and ammonia. This process is known as power-to-liquid.