MIT report says energy storage is crucial to stall climate change – WBUR News

by | May 16, 2022 | Energy

A major report from the MIT Energy Initiative finds the development and deployment of new ways to store renewable energy will be crucial to transitioning to clean energy and averting the worst effects of climate change.The report surveys the emergence of grid-scale storage technologies and concludes that more government investment is necessary. It took three years to complete and was presented Monday in Washington, D.C.MIT chemistry professor Robert Armstrong, director of the Energy Initiative, said increased federal research funding and demand for energy storage will help lower the cost of large-capacity batteries that can power and stabilize regional electric grids.“I’m very optimistic,” Armstrong told WBUR before the report’s release. “There are a variety of technologies and if we can develop [them] and drive those costs down, it could make getting to net-zero or zero in the electricity sector more affordable.”Meeting the world’s mid-century climate goals will require decarbonizing the global economy and producing most of our electricity from renewable resources like solar and wind energy instead of fossil fuels.But while these clean resources can produce prodigious amounts of energy, they are intermittent; the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow. That is where large-scale storage must play a fundamental role, Armstrong said.”What we want to do is capture that excess energy produced by wind and solar and store it so we can use it later,” he said.According to the report, 99.9% of the world’s current large-scale energy storage capacity is pumped hydro, a system in which water collected in a reservoir is sent flowing downhill to turn into turbines when electricity is needed and prices for power are high. When electric demand is low and cheap, the …

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