Emerging Technologies and Energy Storage

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Commodity companies across the globe are dealing with volatile events, which continue to have massive implications, including the growing energy storage crisis. Here we discuss why energy storage has become so crucial and the latest technologies being developed to solve world energy storage problems.

Energy and Commodities Crisis

Several factors have led to the unfolding energy and commodities crisis, including the current Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions imposed as a result, so gas is now a scarce commodity in much of Europe. For example, in Germany, because of the energy crisis, there has been a return of dirty fossil fuels such as coal, a hard decision for the country, which had pledged to phase out coal by 2030.

Volatility is seen as the norm in commodities markets. However, the current event is somewhat extreme and has become much more competitive. In commodity trading, the volatility is seen as an opportunity to speculate on price changes as world events continue to impact supply and demand, with a particular interest in the energy transition to renewable energy, a growing sector on the stock market.
Source: Pixabay

Why Store Energy?

Predictions are that the knock-on effects of cutting links with Russian energy will only worsen in the coming months. It is thought that by winter 2022, Russia will cut or significantly reduce fuel supplies to much of Europe. In response, the EU countries have agreed to increase gas storage massively. Before the current crisis, around 40% of the EU’s natural gas came from Russia.

Secondly, renewable energy sources are not always available, with interruptions to supply when wind turbines are slowed by still air or solar panels by clouds and darker seasons. These precious renewable energy sources, in effect, stop functioning as needed when the weather or planet stops cooperating. There is a clear and urgent requirement for the sector to develop methods of storing excess renewable power for when it is required.

Store Energy
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Tech for Energy Storage

Thankfully, new technologies are answering this urgent need for commodity and energy storage. One example is the extraordinary technology known as pumped-storage hydropower, which works by pumping water uphill from a river or other source to a higher reservoir and then releasing it downhill, creating massive amounts of power.

Another illustration is the cutting-edge technology that harnesses gravity. Gravitricity is a UK-based green start-up which has trialled its prototypes of this technology. This emerging field in energy storage technology is incredibly simple. When green energy is plentiful, it is stored and then, using a weight, is pulled to a specific height. When needed, this load is released, powering a generator thanks to the gravitational pull. Gravitricity has already demonstrated the potential of this new technology and is investigating decommissioned coal mines as potential sites for its energy storage plants.

Although the current energy supply is already causing much volatility, it is also driving innovation and technology forward. Renewable energy is predicted to be the fastest-growing energy source in the coming years and is most certainly the market to watch.

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