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Renewable Energy Storage

As renewable energy technology has gotten better and experienced an increase in production, there has been a shift from developing the technology to generate energy to developing the technology to store the energy.

Renewable energy storage is incredibly important, since the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow, wind speeds fluctuate, the amount of sunlight is dependent on cloud coverage, etc. However, the storage options up until now have only been theoretical, impractical, or too costly to produce.

Fossil fuel plants are seen as too difficult to adjust to modern storage options, since it takes a long time retrofit the energy-producing power plants. Additionally, it was thought lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries could be the solution, but those are far too expensive for large-scale use. The expenses are largely tied up in the short lifespan and inefficiency—they have to be replaced frequently and waste too much electricity. The good news is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has long been working on a solution to the storage problem, and it appears they have finally found a viable option.

According to MIT, liquid batteries are inexpensive and have a long lifespan than traditional batteries, utilizing three materials in the batteries which settle in separate layers due to the difference in densities. Usually, the materials inside the batteries need to be combined instead of separated, but in the liquid batteries, the materials must be separate in order to work correctly. The materials used were chosen because of the abundance and cost, which resulted in magnesium, magnesium chloride, and antimony.

The development of an actual battery, as opposed to theoretical options, is a huge step toward implementing renewable energy strategies and programs across the nation. With the increase in energy production from renewable sources, viable storage options have become a necessity, and it appears the time has finally come for all the cogs in the renewable energy machine to turn together, and become a powerful force in the enAs renewable energy technology has gotten better and experienced an increase in production, there has been a shift from developing the technology to generate energy to developing the technology to store the energy.

Renewable energy storage is incredibly important, since the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow, wind speeds fluctuate, the amount of sunlight is dependent on cloud coverage, etc. However, the storage options up until now have only been theoretical, impractical, or too costly to produce.

Fossil fuel plants are seen as too difficult to adjust to modern storage options, since it takes a long time retrofit the energy-producing power plants. Additionally, it was thought lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries could be the solution, but those are far too expensive for large-scale use. The expenses are largely tied up in the short lifespan and inefficiency—they have to be replaced frequently and waste too much electricity. The good news is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has long been working on a solution to the storage problem, and it appears they have finally found a viable option.

According to MIT, liquid batteries are inexpensive and have a long lifespan than traditional batteries, utilizing three materials in the batteries which settle in separate layers due to the difference in densities. Usually, the materials inside the batteries need to be combined instead of separated, but in the liquid batteries, the materials must be separate in order to work correctly. The materials used were chosen because of the abundance and cost, which resulted in magnesium, magnesium chloride, and antimony.

The development of an actual battery, as opposed to theoretical options, is a huge step toward implementing renewable energy strategies and programs across the nation. With the increase in energy production from renewable sources, viable storage options have become a necessity, and it appears the time has finally come for all the cogs in the renewable energy machine to turn together, and become a powerful force in the energy arena.

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