As the world produces more and more intermittent green electrons from renewable energy, storing them effectively is becoming increasingly important for maintaining reliable energy supply. Once grids reach a tipping point of around 60% penetration of wind and solar energy, it becomes important to control when and where those electrons are distributed to ensure energy demand is met 24/7. Two options are available for doing this: moving electrons over longer distances and creating ways to store them for longer periods of time. The latter is known as long duration energy storage (LDES) and is becoming increasingly important due to the need for greater energy resilience and reliability. Depending on their duration, LDES technologies are best suited to different problems, with lithium-ion batteries typically most economical for between one and eight hours, while other solutions target the 12-24 hour range, and others store energy with minimal losses over weeks or even months. There are three main categories of LDES technologies: mechanical, electrochemical, and thermal. While energy storage solutions today rely mainly on lower-cost lithium-ion batteries, they cannot solve all energy storage problems, particularly those that require storage across days, weeks, or seasons. With funding for LDES ramping back up, companies are developing innovative solutions to meet this demand, with total funding increasing 36x from $0.1 to $2.3bn in the last five years. New LDES solutions could improve energy storage capacity and charge/discharge power capacity, providing a cheaper and simpler storage solution without unnecessary extra power production, and could provide the balance to the grid to address the natural variability of solar and wind between seasons and extreme weather events.
It is important that carbon credit schemes also benefit local communities.
The World Meteorological Organisation has stated that 193 countries have given unanimous backing to a scheme to monitor global greenhouse...