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Batteries Energy Storage Solutions 101 (VIDEO)

Published on December 12th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Energy Storage Solutions 101 (VIDEO)

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December 12th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
Activ Solar COO Dr. Johann Harter, who I had the great pleasure of interviewing a couple months ago,recently gave a presentation on energy storage solutions at the fifth International Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Forum in Kyiv (REF2013). It’s a great primer on the various energy storage solutions we have at hand at the moment. He also discusses a trend in residential energy storage for residential solar PV owners in Germany — interesting stuff. Check out the full presentation here:

For related stories, scroll through our energy storage archives.

Also, check out my exclusive coverage of Activ Solar and its largest (100 MW) solar power plant on our Activ Solar channel.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • dehydratedpaani

    One of best informative article in recent weeks/months. Vanadium redox flow batteries look very promising. Hope someone can do informative video on diff battery tech’s pros and cons.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I saw a statement that vanadium redox flow technology had been locked up under a patent by a company that hadn’t done a lot to develop it. But now that patent has expired and other companies will be free to take the idea and run.

      I don’t know if that is true, I didn’t follow up to check, but someone should.

      I’ve seen multiple claims that storage cost with current technology is about 8c/kWh which would make it a player.

      • A Real Libertarian

        Patent trolls need to die.

        • Zachary Shahan

          They will. Unfortunately, more will be born to replace them.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Actually the government is cracking down on them.

            And Newegg is going on the warpath.

      • Zachary Shahan

        That would be a pity.

    • Zachary Shahan

      You can thank Activ Solar for notifying me about it. :D

  • Jouni Valkonen

    It is often surprising how fast technology evolves. The battery cost of SolarCity’s Tesla batteries is $200 per kWh where as video claimed that lithium batteries costs 620–2760 dollars per kWh.

    • Zachary Shahan

      Thanks for that catch.

  • JamesWimberley

    Harter surprisingly leaves out hot salt storage combined with concentrating thermal solar: a proven technology at the 20 MW scale (Gemasolar in Spain). Concentrating thermal is facing an uphill struggle to compete with the falling costs of PV, but the ease of adding storage will make it more salient in countries with high and reliable insolation (Southern half of the Mediterranean, American SW, Mexico, Middle East, Australia).

    A much longer shot is underwater compressed air. But it loosens the geographical limitations on compressed air storage – any coastline will do, as long as it’s not too shallow. The Black Sea is quite deep enough.

    • brink

      what? all that stuff you named sounds like exotica. lets get serious!

      • Bob_Wallace

        CAES has a new life. Apparently someone has figured out how to extract the heat during the compression cycle and store it separately from the air. The heat can be used later to re-expand the air and increase system efficiency.

        Molten salt storage may be a bit exotic, but it’s in use.

      • Leslie Graham

        I hope you are being sarcastic.
        Liquid salt storage has been used for years now. It means solar thermal can generate 24/7.

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