Open thread: energy storage

One challenge with energy sources like solar and wind is that their output varies with local environmental conditions, and not necessarily in ways that correspond to energy demand.

Hence, having energy storage capacity makes them easier to integrate into the grid. There are many options: pumped hydroelectric storage, tidal storage, batteries, compressed air, molten salt, and potentially hydrogen.

It is also possible to balance output from different kinds of renewable stations, using biomass, solar, wind, tidal, and other forms of energy to cover one another’s fallow periods.