• 4 minutes "Natural Gas Trading Picks Up Considerably Amid High Volatility" by Charles Kennedy - ...And is U.S. NatGas Futures dramatically overbought at the $6.35 range?
  • 8 minutes How Far Have We Really Gotten With Alternative Energy
  • 12 minutes  What Russia has reached over three months diplomatic and military pressure on West ?
  • 1 hour GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES
  • 5 hours Revisiting: "The U.S. Grid Isn’t Ready For A Major Shift To Renewables" from March 2021 by Irina Slav at OILPRICE
  • 6 days "The Calm Before The Storm In Oil Markets" by Tom Kool of OILPRICE and seen at YahooFinance
  • 2 days How cheap Chinese tires might explain Russia's 'stalled' 40-mile-long military convoy in Ukraine
  • 6 days "Russia will stop 'in a moment' if Ukraine meets terms - Kremlin" by Reuters via Yahoo News...but Reuters suddenly cut out the balanced part of the story.
  • 6 days Will Variants and Ill-Health Continue to Plague Economic Outlooks?
  • 6 days Oil Stocks, Market Direction, Bitcoin, Minerals, Gold, Silver - Technical Trading <--- Chris Vermeulen & Gareth Soloway weigh in
Russian Oil Production Falls Almost 9% In April Amid Ukraine War

Russian Oil Production Falls Almost 9% In April Amid Ukraine War

Russia’s crude oil production plunged…

Buffett Could Be Inching Closer To Control Over Oxy

Buffett Could Be Inching Closer To Control Over Oxy

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought…

Is Energy Security More Important Than Climate Change?

Is Energy Security More Important Than Climate Change?

Russia’s war has highlighted vulnerabilities…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Premium Content

Is This Finally A Real Energy Storage Breakthrough?

If you thought renewable energy was the big thing of our times, you’d be only partially right. The bigger thing is energy storage – the key to making renewable energy sustainable and reliable; the key to making it practically useful and more than a fad.

There is a truly huge race on to create cheap storage systems, and the greener they are, the better. For instance, you know quinones? These chemical compounds — pigments that are found in a variety of plants — can be used as the basis of organic molecules to make flow batteries. One team of researchers at Harvard, no less, is working on just that: an organic flow battery that is cheap, environmentally friendly, and easily scalable.

The storage system uses external tanks, which is what makes it so easy to scale up or down, for use in households or factories. It’s cheap because the organic molecules it uses are abundant and easily accessible. It’s environmentally friendly, because it uses water solutions and non-toxic chemicals.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, lead researcher Professor Michael Aziz said that the flow battery his team is working on has the potential to bring power storage costs down to $100 per kWh (currently costs are about twice this amount), which, he says, “will change the world.”

Aziz admits, however, that there are some problems with the “calendar life” of the chemicals used in the storage tanks. However, the design has been proven, and preparations are on the way to Europe for field tests that will take place next year. The tests will be conducted by utilities partnering with Italy’s Green Energy Storage, the holder of the European license for Harvard’s organic flow battery.

Some would say this is too far-fetched, and its success prospects are uncertain. That’s fair enough — so how about a flywheel? Flywheels are nothing new, they’ve been around for a quite a while, but now they are getting faster and better, it seems. Related: Why Oil Companies Must Look Beyond Oil To Survive

One Lancaster University student, for instance, Abigail Carson, is awaiting patent for her invention: a levitating flywheel the size of a soccer ball that can rotate at 144,000 revolutions per minute, versus an average for other flywheels of 66,000 rpm. This means it can charge and discharge power much faster. According to Carson, on its own, the flywheel can be used in households, but it can be scaled up for industrial uses too, by using arrays of the device. Its life span is 30 years.

These are just two instances of the directions research into energy storage is focusing on. The U.S. Department of Energy alone is spending tens of millions on projects seeking to develop cheaper and more reliable energy storage systems, and so is the European Union. In India, the energy storage systems market is expected to reach $3.32 billion in six years, and China is working actively on developing its energy storage capacity as well, seeking to curb a huge waste of energy of up to 40 percent from currently operating renewable energy systems.

McKinsey, the international consultants, have estimated, as quoted by the Telegraph, that the global market for energy storage systems will be worth $90 billion annually in 2025. Governments are undertaking decarbonization commitments on a large scale. In this context, the world of energy storage is going to get much more interesting and fast.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News