Climate Now
Climate Now
Nov 28, 2022
Battery power: the future of grid-scale energy storage
Play • 34 min

Is the battery revolution here? Or have we already been living in it for three decades?

Renewable energy sources - wind and solar - have become the cheapest and fastest growing form of electricity generation. But the industry has not yet escaped the perennial criticism that keeps many from believing that the world could run entirely on renewable energy: what happens when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing? To date, batteries have not been a particularly convincing answer, due both to their cost and their limited ability to store industrial scale electricity for more than a few hours at a time.

But that might be changing. After more then three decades of remarkable innovation, the price of lithium batteries has dropped 97%, and the power storage potential of a battery has increased 3.4-fold. Nate Blair, who manages the Distributed Systems and Storage Analysis Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), joined Climate Now to discuss where we are today in developing grid-scale energy storage systems. Stay tuned to find out what role batteries will play in the transition to clean electricity, why lithium batteries are currently leading the way in grid battery storage, and what other technologies we might expect in grid storage portfolio in the next 10-30 years.

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