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Energy Storage
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

3.1.4Energy Storage

With the development of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, energy storage technologies must also grow in parallel.
When the wind drops, or clouds move in, electricity is still needed. Thus, technologies such as batteries and stored hydrogen (from electrolysis, for example) are needed to enable energy storage when an excess is generated and hence help balance the system during times of limited to no energy production. Utility-scale storage capacity ranges from several megawatt-hours into the hundreds, with lithium-ion batteries being by far the most well-developed battery technology.However, upfront costs for utility-scale storage remains a barrier in the market, despite the steady decrease in the price of battery technologies. To facilitate the rapid scale up that a decarbonising world requires, governments could help close this “viability gap” using subsidies and policy incentives — an approach successfully applied during the development of solar and wind technology. Chemical pathways — such as using renewable energy to produce synthetic fuels — are also an important technology for energy storage.

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

Money into power

Investments in utility-scale battery capacity sees record growth. There is increasing accessibility of the technology and more supportive governmental policies that help batteries seal their key role in the global transition to low-carbon economies.

10-yearhorizon

Aggressive cuts to CO2 lead to leap in installed renewable capacity

The European Union doubles its current installed capacity of renewables. This push, and similar initiatives around the world, resuilts in installed utility-scale battery capacity has increasing around four-fold from the 2020 level.

25-yearhorizon

Energy storage diversifies

The explosive growth in renewable sources has propelled wide-spread developments in energy storage. Optimal energy storage depends on national resources and local factors, and how the power is to be used — for homes, infrastructure or industry, for example. As a result, developments are occurring not only in batteries, but also in mechanically pumped-hydro and superconducting magnetic energy storage systems.19

Energy Storage - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.

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