Large blocks of silicon storing wind and solar power as heat are the latest innovation in the battle to replace all fossil fuels with renewable energy. Finding a cheap way of storing surplus electricity produced from wind and solar farms is the current preoccupation of the renewable energy industry and governments worldwide. If it can be done on a large scale, then coal-fired electricity generation − a major cause of climate change − can be phased out entirely, and gas will also soon have a diminishing role. Battery technology is currently attracting most interest, partly because governments are pressing ahead with introducing electric cars, but also because it is now possible to use large batteries for storing surplus wind and solar power for use at peak times. But there is increasing interest in storing energy as heat, which can be used for district heating schemes or for creating steam to turn turbines and make electricity when demand is high.
Climate News Network 8th Sept 2017 read more »