In recent decades the cost of wind and solar power generation has dropped dramatically. This is one reason that the U.S. Dept. of Energy projects that renewable energy will be the fastest-growing U.S. energy source through 2050.
However, it’s still relatively expensive to store energy. And since renewable energy generation isn’t available all the time – it happens when the wind blows or the sun shines – storage is essential.
As a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, I work with the federal government and private industry to develop renewable energy storage technologies. In a recent report, researchers at NREL estimated that the potential exists to increase U.S. renewable energy storage capacity by as much as 3,000% percent by 2050.