As renewables boom, need for energy storage is more urgent

5 June 2014

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There is a boom in renewable energy sources coming online worldwide, but the predominant types – solar and wind – are problematic due to their variable nature. For most regions of the world, the sun cannot be expected to shine nor the wind blow when required. What is needed is a way to capture that energy when available, perhaps in the middle of the night, when demand is low, and then store it until it can be used when demand rises. But this is not a trivial problem to solve, writes Dr Catalina Spataru (UCL Energy Institute) in The Conversation.