Could sand be the next lithium?

Start-ups around the world are exploring the possibility of creating large-scale energy storage batteries using natural heat-storing materials such as sand, salt, and rock.

Could sand be the next lithium?
Photo by Keith Hardy / Unsplash

A number of companies are exploring the possibilities of making long-term energy storage batteries made from inexpensive and abundant natural materials that can store heat – such as sand, salt, and rock.

This Washington Post article provides a decent overview of the history and possibilities involved in such technology and offers an interesting look at Polar Night Energy, a Finnish start-up running the world’s first commercial-scale sand battery.

Energy storage is going to play a huge role in helping us transition to a clean energy future – especially with the intermittency problems inherent in solar and wind power. It will be interesting to see how these relatively low-tech energy storage systems evolve and the role they might play in helping us store and transmit energy to the grid.

Read the full article here.

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