One of the most exciting areas of energy technology today is storage. With wind and solar now the leading sources of new energy capacity in the U.S., maximizing their potential in the future depends on the development of storage solutions with different durations and applications.
We tend to think first of batteries, a form of chemical storage, but energy can also be stored thermally (for example, in molten salt at concentrating solar facilities) or using gravity (think of hydroelectric dams and pumped storage). Compressed-air storage, flywheels, and hydrogen fuel cells all offer promise.
Other new technologies are a little more cutting edge, one might even say niche. Take, for example, an interesting gravity-based system designed by Dr. April Iocus, a professor