A U.S. Government agency has just claimed that it has achieved the “holy grail” of energy storage.
The agency is called the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (Arpa-E). The breakthrough involves the next generation of battery storage technology that has the potential to play a large role in completely changing the energy landscape.
Arpa-E’s director, Ellen Williams, had this to say – “I think we have reached some holy grails in batteries – just in the sense of demonstrating that we can create a totally new approach to battery technology, make it work, make it commercially viable, and get it out there to let it do its thing.”
This is the sort of breakthrough that many in the private sector, such as Tesla Energy, have been searching for.
The agency was founded in 2009 under Obama’s economic recovery plan. It’s a “moonshot” program – too risky for much of the private market, but an example of a program that has the potential to pay off substantially.
“Our battery teams have developed new approaches to grid-scale batteries and moved them out,” said Williams. She’s also mentioned that multiple companies have been utilized to get this technology out to utilities. The timeline for implementation involves the next five to ten years.
If these new energy storage technologies are truly commercially ready in the next few years this could be a tremendous boon for wind and solar power. It’s important to mention that the assumptions with something that is commercially viable are that it is both technologically effective and cost effective, among other things.
It could also be assumed that this same technology can be used at the residential level. Even if that’s not the case, battery storage costs will continue to fall regardless of this story. Those who go solar now will be that much more ready to take on battery storage when it’s even more economical to do so.
This truly is great news for the near future implementation of solar power at the utility scale. Viable and cost effective large scale energy storage is really the only obstacle from preventing a much greater use of solar power.
It will be exciting to finally see these technologies introduced to the energy marketplace so that we can finally witness a major transition to renewable sources of energy.