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Storing renewable energy, one balloon at a time

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on New York Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: In the unlikely setting of central Sardinia, Energy Dome, a Milan-based startup, is pioneering a novel energy storage technology using carbon dioxide 
• On the site of a former petrochemical plant, this technology aims to balance the mismatch in the local electricity market, particularly the disparity between daytime solar energy production and nighttime energy demand

🔭 The context: The company's technology involves using a giant balloon to store carbon dioxide, which acts as a "battery." 
• By compressing CO2 into liquid form with surplus electricity and then expanding it back into gas to generate electricity when needed, this system can store energy for hours or days 
• This process is crucial for the integration of renewable energy sources like solar and wind into the power grid, which are intermittent by nature

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Efficient energy storage is key to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and achieving a decarbonized power grid 
• The U.S. Department of Energy, recognizing the importance of advancing energy storage technologies, has committed significant funding to support these innovations 
• Energy Dome's CO2-based energy storage solution represents a promising advancement in this field

⏭️ What's next: The development of long-duration energy storage technologies is in a critical phase, as these solutions may become essential in the next 15 to 20 years to fully transition to renewable energy sources 
• The industry faces the challenge of not only innovating effective storage solutions but also ensuring they are economically viable and scalable to meet future energy needs

💬 One quote: “There is a real urgency around decarbonizing electricity on a timeline that is much faster than we’ve contemplated in the past,” - Elaine Hart, founding principal of Moment Energy Insights LLC.

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