The limits of energy storage technology | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Posted on Posted in energy density, hydrocarbon, lithium ion, wind
This obviously brilliant atomic scientist wrote a long and well researched article on the potential energy densities of energy storage v. hydrocarbon. He points out that there is much more energy per volume in hydrocarbon fuels then there can be in batteries or other forms of advanced storage.
“The maximum theoretical potential of advanced lithium-ion batteries that haven’t yet been demonstrated to work is still only about 6 percent of crude oil.”
However, he apparently ignores the fact that advanced storage technologies; like lithium ion, flywheels and the vanadium redox flow battery (VRB-ESS), can be used over and over! Storing wind, which is free and non-polluting energy, in energy storage that can be recycled – an unlimited number of times in the case of the VRB-ESS – should easily beat the hydrocarbons on energy v. volume, since the fossil fuel can only be used once! And, if the energy storage facility is in an area where space is not an issue – like a PV or Wind farm – then the discussion loses even more relevance.
His points may be more aimed at vehicles than grid connected storage. There’s no opportunity to comment on his column where it was published, so I have to comment here.

The limits of energy storage technology | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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