Energy storage plays an important part in energy transition. Progress in battery technology was a key enabler of electromobility. Stationary battery storage of electricity is necessary to synchronise solar and wind energy with demand, but also hydrogen will be an important energy carrier with the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

Cyclicality of renewable energy generation in Germany April to May 2023. (SMARD Strommarktdaten)

Energy Storage

All three elements of energy transition

  • batteries for electric vehicles
  • batteries for stationary storage
  • hydrogen as an energy carrier
    are closely linked to salt.

are closely linked to salt. Sodium ion batteries have just entered the mass market of basic electric vehicles, and will rapidly gain market share as an economic alternative to more expensive lithium-ion batteries.
The salt battery is an interesting technology for the stationary storage of electricity.
An article about the importance of salt for the storage of hydrogen, and the potential of salt tectonics in energy conversion was recently published by researchers of the Bureau of Economic Geology and the Helmholtz Centre in Potsdam
Salt caverns are the only proven option for the large scale storage of hydrogen. It is successfully stored in a salt cavern in Teesside, UK, and in three salt caverns in Texas, USA.

The Role of Salt Tectonics in Energy Conversion

What’s more, the porous rock surrounding the salt caverns could also contribute to energy conversion as a permanent storage spot for CO2. The study also describes how salt can contribute to next-generation geothermal technology. Although the industry is still in its early stages, the researchers show how it can make use of salt’s ability to easily conduct heat from warmer underlying rocks to produce geothermal power.


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