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Grid-Scale Batteries Work Well For Storing Solar Power, But Not Wind

While solar energy is clearly the future, it isn’t ready yet. Two large obstacles are cost versus efficiency and storage.

Wind power is advocated by a much smaller group, because its obstacles are far greater. A new paper adds evidence to that, noting that when the operation and construction of storage batteries are included, solar power numbers can work but wind cannot.

Most electricity in the United States is generated at power plants that run on coal and natural gas – fossil fuels that contribute to global warming by emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide. Solar and wind power are emissions-free and renewable, but depend on sunlight or wind to operate, and require storage to take advantage of peak energy production times.

A wide variety of technologies are being developed to address the lack of grid-scale storage. The authors of a new paper looked at several technologies, including five battery types – lead-acid, lithium-ion, sodium-sulfur, vanadium-redox and zinc-bromine.

More http://www.science20.com/news_articles/gridscale_batteries_work_well_storing_solar_power_not_wind-120001

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