Wind does not blow all the time, nor does the sun shine consistently. Battery storage has, therefore, become an essential component of a transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewables, from utility-scale installations to the individual home and vehicle. While hydro, biomass, and thermal are all examples of energy storage, the battery is currently the key component that will make electricity derived from clean and renewable but intermittent sources like solar and wind available where and when it is needed.

Energy storage is also critical in meeting electricity demand during peak times, such as on hot summer days when air conditioners are blasting or at nightfall when households turn on their lights and electronics. Energy storage allows greater grid flexibility as distributors can buy electricity during off-peak times when energy is cheap and sell it to the grid when it is in greater demand. For a look at the status of five energy storage technologies go here.

Energy storage will play a crucial role in meeting aggressive renewable-energy targets, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA. These include a mandate to derive as much as 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and 100-percent carbon-free electricity by 2040. “Storage will help to integrate clean energy into the grid,” and also “stabilize supply during peak electric usage,” according to NYSERDA.

Battery storage can reduce demand on the grid, provide emergency backup for residential electricity, and deliver 100-percent clean energy if charged by solar panels or another renewable source, replacing the need for fossil fuel-fired “peaker plants” that operate as needed to meet peak energy demand.

State-level mandates like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Community Solar and Storage Program, announced in February, 2021, will “drive down costs and scale up the market for these clean energy technologies.”

The price for lithium ion batteries, the leading energy storage technology, remains high, however, even as prices for solar and wind diminish. So researchers are exploring other alternatives, including flow batteries, thermal batteries, and gravity-based systems. The size of the energy storage market is predicted (as of 3/14/2020) to be $620 billion in investment by 2040.

The Future Of Energy Storage Beyond Lithium Ion


Battery recycling is key to a clean future

By Yan Wang Ph.D. 03/16/23
Battery recycling has become an important issue in the United States, and recent efforts by the federal government, private industry and academia suggest that the country is quickly making batteries more easily recycled, reused and…
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These companies want to go beyond batteries to store energy

By Casey Crownhart 03/09/23
If y’all have been around for a while, you know that I love writing about batteries (see exhibits A, B, and C). Using chemical reactions to store energy is handy and scaleable, and there are…
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Energy storage made record gains in the US in 2022: Sustainable Energy in America Factbook

By Stephen Singer 03/07/23
A record 4.8 GW of utility-scale non-hydropower storage was established in the U.S. in 2022, bringing total capacity to 11.4 GW, according to Sustainable Energy in America 2023 Factbook released Thursday by BloombergNEF and the…
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Scoop: Biden’s EV surprise

By Joann Muller 02/01/23
The Biden administration's plan to jump-start a domestic supply chain for electric vehicles (EVs) is on track to shatter expectations.
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Longroad Energy begins construction of 285 MW solar, 860 MWh storage project in Arizona

By Stephen Singer 01/19/23
Renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced Wednesday it has begun construction of a solar-plus-storage project in Arizona. The 285 MWdc PV and 215 MWac/860 MWh system is expected to begin commercial operations in 2024 and…
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A mountain, a tower, a thermos of molten salt. These are the batteries that could power our renewable future.

By Neel Dhanesha 11/10/22
Blackouts are a devastating reality of our climate-changed world. An unprecedented winter storm in 2021 knocked out power for millions of Texans for days, killing hundreds, and this summer Californians managed to barely save their…
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New York City Is Using More Green Energy. But It Has a Storage Problem.

By Kaya Laterman 11/03/22
This fall, when students returned to the Junior High School 144 complex in the Pelham Gardens section of the Bronx, most of them probably didn’t notice that the odd, triangular-shaped parking lot across the street…
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New Jersey Energy Storage Straw Proposal

The NJ Board of Public Utilities has released its long-awaited energy storage straw proposal. Although some details are lacking, the proposal includes many important features for which CESA has advocated.
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BLM Announces Completion of Crimson Solar Energy Storage Project

A fund managed by Axium Infrastructure US Inc. owns 80% of the project and Recurrent Energy, the project developer, retains 20% ownership. CSI Energy Storage was the turnkey system integrator of the project, delivering the…
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Oakland tests electric transit buses for resilience in vehicle-to-building pilot

By Robert Walton 10/12/22
The city of Oakland, California, will be the site of a vehicle-to-building pilot analyzing how zero-emission transit buses can maintain critical loads during emergency conditions, project participants announced Tuesday.
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GM is launching a new business to connect homes and businesses with EV chargers, energy storage

By Michael Wayland and Others 10/11/22
on Tuesday said that it is forming a new business unit to offer stationary battery packs, solar panels, electric vehicle chargers and other energy-management products for homes and businesses.
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GM takes on Tesla, others; launches unit focused on energy storage, solar and vehicle-to-grid charging

By Dan Zukowski 10/11/22
General Motors will expand its commitment to electric vehicles with the creation of a new business unit called GM Energy, which will offer vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-grid charging, stationary battery storage, solar products, software applications and…
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Fact Sheet: Energy Storage (2019)

Due to growing concerns about the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and the capacity and resilience of energy grids around the world, engineers and policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to energy storage solutions. Indeed,…

Energy Storage

In response to increased State goals and targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, meet air quality standards, and achieve a carbon free grid, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), with authorization from the California…

How Energy Storage Works

Emerging storage facilities will allow us to store energy generated from wind and solar resources on shorter time frames to smooth variability, and on longer cycles to replace ever more fossil fuel. By charging storage…

Renewable Energy Storage

The largest of the current renewable energy storage projects utilizing hydrogen that are currently in operation are facilities located in Germany at Grapzow [81] in the province of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and in Falkenhagen [82] in Brandenburg.…

Pairing Wind with Energy Storage Is Critical for Renewable Energy Future

A new report from Navigant Research examines the use of energy storage for wind integration, covering existing and upcoming projects, the competitive landscape, and expected market growth.

There’s a Simple Way to Store Renewable Energy, And We Already Have The Technology

The effect that fossil fuels are having on the climate emergency is driving an international push to use low-carbon sources of energy. At the moment, the best options for producing low-carbon energy on a large…

Energy Storage—A Trillion-Dollar Holy Grail

The science of renewable energy is remarkable—the ability to harness nature to magically power our modern world is a seductive vision. And yet, the actual business of renewable energy is late to establish itself as…

Energy storage

Energy storage is the capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time. A device that stores energy is generally called an accumulator or battery. Energy comes in multiple forms including…

Energy Storage

One of the distinctive characteristics of the electric power sector is that the amount of electricity that can be generated is relatively fixed over short periods of time, although demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the…

Technologies Of energy storage

A wide array of storage technologies have been developed so that the grid can meet everyday energy needs.

Utility-Scale Batteries Innovation Landscape Brief

This brief is part of the IRENA project “Innovation landscape for a renewable-powered future”, which maps the relevant innovations, identifies the synergies and formulates solutions for integrating high shares of variable renewable energy (VRE) into…

U.S. Grid Energy Storage Factsheet

CSS has developed a growing set of factsheets that cover topics including energy, water, food, waste, buildings, materials, and transportation systems.

U.S. utility-scale battery storage power capacity to grow substantially by 2023

Utility-scale battery storage units (units of one megawatt (MW) or greater power capacity) are a newer electric power resource, and their use has been growing in recent years.


Energy Department Targets Vastly Cheaper Batteries to Clean Up the Grid

By Brad Plumer   07/14/21  
The Energy Department on Wednesday announced a new effort to tackle one of the toughest technical challenges facing President Biden’s push for an electric grid dominated by solar and wind power — namely, what to…
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Energy Dept. seeks to cut cost of energy storage, boost renewables

By Rachel Frazin   07/14/21  
The Energy Department will attempt to decrease the cost of energy storage technology by 90 percent within a decade in an attempt to boost clean energy use.
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DOE initiative seeks to drop long-duration storage cost 90% in a decade

By Jason Plautz   07/14/21  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has set a goal to reduce the cost of utility-scale, long-duration energy storage by 90% within a decade to bolster a grid powered by renewable energy.
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As US aims to boost clean energy supply chain, critical minerals gap largely human-caused, analysts say

By Emma Penrod   06/17/21  
For many American businesses — and consumers — the onset of COVID-19 was an unexpected wake-up call as supply chains collapsed and store shelves emptied. But potential for supply-chain logjams existed before the pandemic.
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A power plant in Maryland ditches coal for batteries, a first for the US

By Julian Spector   06/14/21  
Coal plants are shutting down across the U.S., but one in Maryland is switching to battery power in what appears to be a nationwide first. If successful, the transition could kick off a trend with…
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Storage providers face bankability challenge as customers prefer Tesla

By Jason Plautz   06/14/21  
Amid concerns about the materials chain for lithium-ion batteries, energy storage providers like Powin Energy, Fluence and Wärtsilä say they’re facing a different, lesser-known supply issue: a small pool of well-known battery makers trusted by…
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Long-duration storage can help clean up the electricity grid, but only if it’s super cheap

By David Roberts   06/09/21  
Here at Volts, I recently spent a week … OK, a month writing about batteries, which store energy for electronic devices, electric vehicles, and, at least for short periods of time (four to six hours),…
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White House vows new moves to shore up battery supply chain

By Ben Geman   06/08/21  
The White House is pledging a multi-agency push to spur more U.S. battery manufacturing and sustainable mining — both domestically and abroad — of raw materials used in battery tech. Why it matters: The administration…
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How Tesla Is Quietly Expanding Its Energy Storage Business

Elon Musk announced that Tesla was getting into the energy business in 2015 and now it’s betting that it will become increasingly important for the company. In 2020, it surpassed 3 gigawatt hours of energy…
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Rooftop solar and home batteries make a clean grid vastly more affordable

By David Roberts   05/28/21  
Energy nerds love arguing over the value of distributed energy resources (DERs), the rooftop solar panels and customer-owned batteries that are growing more popular by the day. There’s a fight in California right now over…
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Battery Week: everything in one place

By David Roberts   05/19/21  
As you might have gathered from the name, when Battery Week began … a month ago, I did not anticipate it going on quite so long. Since it has dragged out a bit, I thought…
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Tesla shifts battery chemistry for utility-scale storage Megapack

By Jason Plautz   05/18/21  
Tesla is switching to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells for its utility-scale Megapack energy storage product, a move that analysts say could signal a broader shift for the energy storage industry.  Costs for LFP batteries have…
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Competitors to lithium-ion batteries in the grid storage market

By David Roberts   05/14/21  
Up to now, we’ve been focusing on lithium-on batteries (LIBs) — why they are so important, how they work, and the varieties of LIBs that are battling it out for the biggest battery market, electric…
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Developer Of Aluminum-Ion Battery Claims It Charges 60 Times Faster Than Lithium

By Michael Ray Taylor   05/13/21  
Range anxiety, recycling and fast-charging fears could all be consigned to electric-vehicle history with a nanotech-driven Australian battery invention. The graphene aluminum-ion battery cells from the Brisbane-based Graphene Manufacturing Group (GMG) are claimed to charge…
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Tesla Powerwall: Is it the best solar battery?

Solar storage was once a conversation about the distant future, but Elon Musk's announcement of the Tesla Powerwall battery system changed it to a conversation about the now.
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The Lithium Gold Rush: Inside the Race to Power Electric Vehicles

By Ivan Penn and Eric Lipton   05/06/21  
A race is on to produce lithium in the United States, but competing projects are taking very different approaches to extracting the vital raw material. Some might not be very green.
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IEA: Mineral supplies for electric cars ‘must increase 30-fold’ to meet climate goals

By Josh Gabbatiss   05/05/21  
At least 30 times as much lithium, nickel and other key minerals may be required by the electric car industry by 2040 to meet global climate targets, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
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Corporate funding for solar surges in Q1, but venture capital eyes are on storage, Mercom finds

By Emma Penrod   04/21/21  
While investors increasingly seek solar company stocks for reliable returns, energy storage is the new rising star of energy venture capital, according to Raj Prabhu, CEO of the Mercom Capital Group.
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Power Edison supplying the world’s largest mobile battery energy storage system

By Robin Whitlock   04/20/21  
Power Edison, the leading developer and provider of utility-scale mobile energy storage solutions, has been contracted by a major US utility to deliver the system this year. At more than three megawatts (3 MW) and twelve…
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Apple Investing in Major Energy Storage Project in California

Apple has announced it is investing directly in renewable energy projects to cover a portion of upstream emissions, as well as a major energy storage project in California to pilot new solutions for renewable infrastructure.
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The race is on to strike ‘white gold’ at California’s Salton Sea

By Sammy Roth   03/18/21  
There are few places in California, maybe anywhere, weirder or more wonderful than the Salton Sea. It’s a sparkling blue oasis in the state’s southeastern corner, framed by harsh desert, jutting mountains and seemingly endless…
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Tesla Is Plugging a Secret Mega-Battery Into the Texas Grid

By Dana Hull and Naureen S Malik   03/08/21  
Elon Musk is getting into the Texas power market, with previously unrevealed construction of a gigantic battery connected to an ailing electric grid that nearly collapsed last month. The move marks Tesla Inc.’s first major…
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S&P: Despite storage growth, US to achieve ‘marginal’ carbon-free capacity increases through 2035

By Robert Walton   02/18/21  
There will be 8.5 GW of new storage added to the U.S. grid by the end of 2021, and another 2 GW annually through 2025, according to new estimates from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Storage…
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Lithium’s Growing Importance and Its Influence on Economic Growth

By A.R Chaudhary   02/16/21  
The transition to renewable energy is happening at a large scale globally, and without lithium, it is almost impossible. The demand for lithium is expected to reach 117 kilotons by 2024.
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Tesla prioritizes installation cost cuts, storage integration in solar ‘market leader’ quest

By Emma Penrod   01/29/21  
Tesla's solar business had its best quarter since 2018 during the final months of 2020, according to CEO Elon Musk. After turning his attention to Model 3 production for a time, Tesla now has "a…
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A circular economy for batteries to underpin renewable energy growth

By Tansy Robertson-Fall   12/01/20  
As the renewable energy sector grows, high-capacity long-life battery storage is fundamental to its success. How these batteries are designed and made will define their environmental impact for generations to come. Creating a circular economy…
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Top six countries with the largest lithium reserves in the world

By Andrew Fawthrop   11/19/20  
Lithium is growing in demand, but many of the countries with the biggest-known reserves have yet to successfully commercialise the resource at scale.
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To batteries and beyond: Compressed air, liquid air and the holy grail of long-duration storage

By Kavya Balaraman   10/14/20  
In 1991, generation and transmission cooperative PowerSouth — then known as the Alabama Electric Cooperative — started operating a 110 MW compressed air energy storage (CAES) plant in McIntosh, Alabama.
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FERC Opens Electricity Markets to Distributed Resource Aggregators

By Bud Earley   09/22/20  
The FERC approved a final rule that will enable distributed energy resource (DER) aggregators to compete in organized wholesale electricity markets. DERs are located on the distribution system or behind the customer meter and include…
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China ‘dominating’ the lithium-ion battery supply chain, says industry report

By James Murray   09/17/20  
China’s success has come as a result of its large domestic battery demand, alongside its control over 80% of the world’s raw material refining.
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DC Circuit upholds landmark FERC storage order, rejecting claims it violates state authority

By Catherine Morehouse   07/13/20  
A three-judge panel of the court said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's 2018 Order 841, intended to expand the ability of storage to participate in wholesale power markets, does not surpass the commission's jurisdiction with its…
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Cold storage: Organic proton batteries show disposal, solar pairing advantages in advance to market

By Lynn Freehill-Maye   05/11/20  
Scientists in Sweden are stepping up in the global race to efficiently store renewable energy with an all-organic proton battery whose capabilities surprised even the researchers. Among them, the battery can be recharged directly from…
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The Future Of Energy Storage Beyond Lithium Ion

Over the past decade, prices for solar panels and wind farms have reached all-time lows. However, the price for lithium ion batteries, the leading energy storage technology, has remained too high.
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US energy storage ‘surges in Q4 2019’

The US energy storage market installed record capacity the fourth quarter of 2019, deploying 186MW and 364 megawatt hours of storage, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest data.
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ESA: More records set for US energy storage installs in Q4, massive growth forecasted

By Eric Wesoff   03/10/20  
According to the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) and Wood Mackenzie, Q4 2019 marks the largest-ever quarter for storage deployments across all U.S. market segments.
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Green hydrogen gets real as utility business models and delivery solutions emerge

By Herman K. Trabish   03/02/20  
Here are three things power sector policymakers are reaching agreement on: The mid-century goal is a zero emissions economy; wind and solar alone cannot do that; and green hydrogen may be a solution.
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Flow Batteries: Energy Storage Option for a Variety of Uses

By Tisha Scroggin-Wicker and Kieran McInerney   03/02/20  
Energy storage is becoming increasingly important to the power industry. Lithium-ion battery technology has been implemented in many locations, but flow batteries offer significant benefits in long-duration usage applications and situations that require regular cycling…
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Forward-thinking US states charge ahead on energy storage

By Sara Baldwin   03/02/20  
How some states are illuminating the path ahead with trailblazing regulatory, policy and market frameworks.
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“Big Battery” making Big Bucks Down Under

By Peter Sinclair   02/29/20  
Tesla’s “big battery” utility-scale Powerpack system at the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia has yielded more than doubled the savings to consumers in 2019 than the year prior as it dominates fossil fuel generators…
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There’s a Simple Way to Store Renewable Energy, And We Already Have The Technology

By Antoine Koen & Pau Farres Antunez   02/26/20  
The effect that fossil fuels are having on the climate emergency is driving an international push to use low-carbon sources of energy. At the moment, the best options for producing low-carbon energy on a large…
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Seasonal Pumped Hydropower Storage Could Solve the Renewable Energy Storage Challenge

Seasonal pumped hydropower storage (SPHS), an already established yet infrequently used technology, could be an affordable and sustainable solution to store energy and water on an annual scale, according to new IIASA research published in…
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Could water solve the renewable energy storage challenge?

Seasonally pumped hydropower storage could provide an affordable way to store renewable energy over the long-term, filling a much needed gap to support the transition to renewable energy, according to a new study.
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Here’s How Energy Storage Kills Coal, One Factory At A Time

By Tina Casey   02/13/20  
When recently impeached US President* Donald Trump tapped an auto industry lobbyist to lead the US Department of Energy last fall, eyes rolled back into heads. Well, it looks like the wrong eyes rolled.
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EDF Asks D.C. Circuit to Uphold FERC Energy Storage Order

By Sharyn Stein   02/10/20  
EDF is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to uphold an order that permits energy storage to compete fairly in wholesale power markets.
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New York Power Authority: New energy storage demonstration project supporting further integration of renewable power sources into grid

The New York Power Authority announced a collaboration with a leading-edge energy storage company to develop a demonstration energy storage system, using new zinc-air energy storage technology, in New York. The project, selected as a…
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California has big clean energy ambitions, and is looking for better energy storage to realize them

By Kavya Balaraman   01/06/20  
Lithium-ion batteries have dominated the storage space for the last decade, largely due to declining costs caused by global build-out of storage manufacturing capacity for electric vehicle markets, according to Burwen. The technology is also…
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Declining Renewable Costs Drive Focus on Energy Storage

By Wayne Hicks   01/02/20  
An oft-repeated refrain—the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow—is sometimes seen as an impediment to renewable energy. But it’s also an impetus toward discovering the best ways to store that energy…
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To Store Renewable Energy, Try Freezing Air

By John Fialka   01/02/20  
The system that supplies clean electricity to Vermont is not exactly a model of Yankee ingenuity. In 2011, the state adopted a plan to get 90% of its power from renewable sources by 2050. That…
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5 Tangible Advances for Long-Duration Energy Storage in 2019

By Julian Spector   12/30/19  
The big wins for long-duration storage always seem to be just around the corner. This year brought concrete signs of progress.
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The Energy Storage Path to a Clean California

By Donald Balfour   12/03/19  
Over the last two decades, the energy industry has been in a constant state of transformation, catalyzed by dramatic increases in clean energy and a multitude of technology innovations. In California, the spotlight has been…
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