Study: Research reveals electricity storage leads to innovation, efficiency
Posted By:  Ray Pietramale
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A new study has revealed that as electrical storage technology improves, innovation in both renewables and fossil fuels electricity production is spurred along with a boost in efficiency to the entire electricity sector.

The researchers, led by Itziar Lazkano, took on the task of studying more than 50 years of patent data from 70 different countries. Basically, they would look at companies who were given patents concerning electricity generation technologies and then calculate the probability that they would apply for another patent in the same field. The study came to the conclusion that companies who were given a patent in storage technology were likely to apply for another patent in renewable electricity generation technology or efficiency-improving technology in fossil fuels.

The study also noted, surprisingly to many, that improvements in energy storage don’t necessarily lead to the replacement of fossil fuels.

"One of the big challenges of renewable energy has been intermittency -- for example, that the generation of power from wind and solar varies with current weather conditions -- and improvements to energy storage directly address that," Lazkano stated. "In addition, fossil fuel plants benefit from better storage technology as they are able to supply electricity without incurring high ramping costs."

That means when fossil fuels are in high demand, companies are able to lessen the costs of production by having more energy efficiently stored. Due to this improved storage, companies are less likely to cut ties with their non-renewable energy sources simply because they are still making money.

Overall, improved energy storage is still a big step in the right direction. Even though it doesn’t necessarily lead to reduced carbon emissions, it offers better ways to combine both conventional and renewable electricity

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