Mix Mountains and Gravity for Long-Term Energy Storage

A team of European researchers proposes using mountains to build a new sort of battery for extensive-time period electricity storage.

The intermittent nature of electricity sources these kinds of as solar and wind has built it hard to incorporate them into grids, which need a steady ability provide. To present uninterrupted ability, grid operators ought to retail outlet further electricity harnessed when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, so that ability can be distributed when there is no sun or wind.

“One of the significant issues of producing 100 p.c renewable electricity a reality is extensive-time period storage,” states Julian Hunt, an engineering scientist at the International Institute for Utilized Methods Investigation in Austria.

Lithium-ion batteries at present dominate the electricity storage sector, but these are greater suited for limited-time period storage, states Hunt, mainly because the charge they keep dissipates in excess of time. To retail outlet sufficient electricity for months or decades would need several batteries, which is way too high priced to be a feasible alternative.