You might be surprised to hear that the next big thing in renewable energy is, in fact, batteries. Energy storage is apparently the latest field for groundbreaking advances that will reduce wasted energy consumption and generation. With the right storage options available, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power suddenly become much more reliable and consistent in terms of their availability. Here are a few reasons why you should be paying attention to the latest advances in battery technology.

Making Renewables Better

Despite recent advances in the renewable energy field, wind and solar installations still satisfy less than five percent of global electricity demand.  In many cases, renewables are still considered to be niche energy sources due to the lack of affordable and reliable technology. Furthermore, the storage of excess energy made when conditions are ideal can be difficult. The answer to this last concern, of course, is better batteries. Improvements in battery technology will have a lasting effect on the success of the installation. Better batteries would enable emission-free renewables to grow even faster, therefore making it easier to bring reliable clean energy to those communities who need it most.

Bigger and Longer Lasting Batteries

The most recent innovations in battery technology have made breakthroughs in a high-scale capacity. These new batteries are able to deliver high enough capacity to serve whole factories, towns, even “mini-grids” connecting isolated rural communities. The technology is based on sodium, aluminum or zinc batteries which avoid the heavy metals and caustic chemicals used in older lead-acid battery chemistries. Better yet, the new batteries are more affordable, more scalable, and safer than the lithium batteries currently used in many advanced electronics and electric cars. The new technology is particularly suited for supporting transmissions systems that rely heavily on solar or wind power.

Bringing Renewable Energy to Those Who Need It Most

There are plenty of communities around the world, and even right here at home, who don’t have reliable access to the energy they need to light their homes, heat their food, or do their work. Advances in battery technology can help meet those needs. The combination of renewable generation and grid-scale batteries is transformative, and a much-needed resource for those living in poverty. Better batteries also provide exciting opportunities for people who want to invest in making changes to their energy consumption for cleaner electricity generation.

Demand for electricity is growing and so is the concern over climate change and pollutants from energy production. The next step in battery technologies will help the global economy benefit from cleaner, greener, cheaper, more reliable, and more readily available energy than we currently experience today.

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