Wednesday, January 1, 2020

5 Tangible Advances for Long-Duration Energy Storage in 2019

Energy Vault, which plans to build gravity-based storage plants, counts SoftBank among its investors. (Credit: Energy Vault)
Julian Spector
December 30, 2019

Following long-duration storage is like rooting for a home team that’s always about to win next year.
Lithium-ion batteries utterly dominate grid storage deployments these days. That’s great for the cost decline narrative, in the way that cheap Chinese photovoltaic cells produced a massive expansion in solar deployments. But cost obsession results in technology lock-in, boxing out other tools that could prove useful or even better if given the time and space to grow.
It also makes for homogeneous storylines: In other news, the latest energy storage plant looks and performs exactly like all the other ones; check back as this story develops.
There are good reasons to root for the scrappy upstarts challenging the conventional wisdom and building alternative technologies to store clean energy for days, as will be needed for renewables-heavy grids. But the last decade has seen the long-duration storage field make outlandish promises and instead deliver bankruptcies or a slow-rolled smattering of small demos.
For the rest of the story visit: 5 Tangible Advances Long duration Storage 2019