July 3, 2019
The World Economic Forum released a report that listed the top 10 emerging technologies of 2019, which are as follows:
You will note that Grid-Scale Energy Storage makes the top 10.
Grid scale means > 100 MW. There are four technologies that might make it: Batteries, pumped hydro, compressed air energy storage, power to fuel (H2, CH3OH…).
We already have hydro on demand, good for peaking, but little pumped hydro (Ontario’s Adam Beck, at 80 MW, is the largest pumped hydro project around), and none specifically geared to store renewable energy.
Power to liquids or gas is around 30-40% efficient. Unless you can find a way to use the waste heat in a beneficial manner.
Batteries? At grid scale? The environmental impact (and demands on rare metals) will be huge, and batteries are 4-5 times more costly per kWh than pumped hydro or compressed air.
Compressed air comes off pretty good in a comparison.