New Battery to Help Promote Renewable Electricity
A growing number of states around the country are adopting renewable electricity sources as a primary part of their energy strategy. Technology Review reports that one company believes it has lifted one of the main road blocks to widespread use of renewable electricity with the introduction of its new battery.
Many utility companies store some of the electricity they produce in batteries because production does not necessarily match demand at any given time.
This can be important for coal-fired power plants that are more efficient when run at a consistent level, but it can be even more important for certain intermittent renewable electricity sources, such as wind turbines, which generate power whenever the wind blows.
Traditionally this has proven problematic because batteries are expensive, inefficient and short-lived, but Pittsburgh-based Aquion Energy has developed a battery using a cheap water-based electrolyte solution that can survive for as many as 5,000 charging cycles.
CNET notes a report from Lux Research suggests the smart grid electricity storage market could more than double between 2010 and 2015, as renewable electricity becomes more prominent.