Clean energy gets greener as battery technology gets better

Blackouts could be a thing of the past as battery technology improves. This is also essential in making green energy resilient.

This year, as Pacific Gas & Electric has cut power to millions of people in an effort to prevent wildfires for individual homes and communities. But if more batteries were considered, fewer areas would need to be cut off from the main generation stations. Batteries are being considered as a tool in wildfire prevention and are seen as a key to significantly reducing the emissions that drive climate change.

When connected to a renewable energy source such as solar panels or wind turbines, batteries can store any excess clean energy generated to be used as needed.

When demand peaks during hot, stagnant weather in the summer, clean energy sourced by the wind can power those air conditioning units! This extra energy can also reduce electricity bills for customers who choose to sell their power back to the grid when energy prices are highest.

MidAmerican Battery Storage facility in Knoxville, Iowa

In Iowa, MidAmerican Energy brought a battery storage facility online in November of last year.  The Knoxville, Iowa facility now provides 4-megawatt-hours of storage capacity. According to MidAmerican, that’s enough electricity to power almost 900 average Iowa homes for up to four hours.

Just as the cost of solar and wind energy has dropped in recent years, the price of battery energy storage is also declining—with a 76% drop in U.S. prices since 2012.

It’s not just homes and businesses that batteries can power, but electric vehicles store energy too.

Batteries supplied by low-carbon electricity sources have the potential to significantly decrease the 29% of US carbon dioxide emissions produced by the transportation sector.

Work is ongoing to make battery technology safer, more powerful, and more accessible. Doing this brings carbon-free energy system ever closer to reality…something that is essential in solving the climate crisis.

– Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

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