Which of the energy storage technologies holds the most promise to work alongside renewable generation in the UK?Take Our Poll
It has been obvious for some time that large-capacity energy storage is a missing component in many countries’ electricity distribution systems, to take account of the intermittency of renewable sources. And with the cost of renewables falling and large offshore wind farms and solar facilities under construction in and around the UK, the need for storage is becoming more acute. As we report in our latest cover feature, there is renewed interest in pumped hydroelectric storage, not just in Britain but around the world.
We’d like to know what technology our readers believe has the most potential to solve the UK’s particular storage needs. The eventual solution is of course likely to involve a mixture of technologies, but some will form a major part of the storage infrastructure while others will be less important, and we want you to pick out which you think the leader will be.
In our poll above, we’ve picked out the major technology groups that make up the energy storage landscape, taking in electrochemical (batteries of all types, from lithium-ion and other solid-state technologies to flow batteries; but not including fuel cells, which have their own category); pumped hydro, which as we explain in the feature, will always be limited by topology but is arguably underused in the UK at the moment; thermal (including cold types, with liquefaction of air and storage of the cryogenic gases; and hot, involving melting salts and storing them in that form); and hydrogen (using excess electricity to decompose water, storing hydrogen gas — possibly in geological features like salt caverns or exhausted natural gas wells — and either using the gas directly or putting it through a fuel cell to regenerate electricity, as we detailed in this feature earlier this year).
Please feel free to suggest other technologies we may have missed, and comment on the subject below. Comments will be moderated to keep the discussion on-topic. We will publish the results here on 21 November.