Finding effective ways to store energy until it’s needed is a major obstacle for the renewable electricity revolution, but two new mechanical systems mean cheap stored power could soon be widely available. Cheaper than batteries, both have the virtue of being able to produce full power within a second of being switched on. And the energy they generate can also be stored for months without any loss of power. Although developed by different teams completely independently and with different markets in mind, the two systems have great similarities. They use surplus electricity from renewables (wind or solar power) to winch a weight up a mineshaft or a mountain. When there’s a need to generate more electricity, the weight is released to fall to the bottom again, turning turbines attached to it by cables and so providing instant power to the grid.
Climate News Network 22nd Nov 2019 read more »