Batteries are having a moment. A new Solutions Brief by Climate Central describes the rapid growth of battery storage capacity in the U.S., and how it can be used to reduce carbon emissions while making our power grid more resilient to extreme weather.
Batteries are likely to be an important component of grid-level energy systems. Solar PV and Wind are both intermittent power sources, plus their peak outputs do not necessarily align with peak demand. Energy storage is a key requirement of “renewable” energy systems for the future.
Energy storage can take many forms, not just batteries. For example, some systems may pump water uphill and release its potential energy, through generators, later. Others may store energy as heat (such as heating water or solids), or even lifting weights up high during generation, and then lower the weights to spin generators during times when generation is not available.