Renewable Energy Storage

Experts project that renewable energy will be the fastest-growing source of energy through 2050. The need to harness that energy – primarily wind and solar – has never been greater. Batteries can provide highly sustainable wind and solar energy storage for commercial, residential and community-based installations.

How Wind and Solar Energy is Stored

Lead batteries are the most widely used energy storage battery on earth, comprising 50% of the worldwide rechargeable battery market share.

Solar and wind facilities use the energy stored in lead batteries to reduce power fluctuations and increase reliability to deliver on-demand power. Lead battery storage systems bank excess energy when demand is low and release it when demand is high, to ensure a steady supply of energy to millions of homes and businesses.

Lead batteries are also critical in remote geographic areas. Over half of the people in LDCs (least developed countries) lack access to electricity. Lead batteries can:

  • Store and optimize energy from renewable energy sources when there is no access to a power grid.
  • Support small-scale hydro-electric systems to many of the 1 billion people in remote areas who lack access to a power grid.
Renewable Energy Storage Information Brief

Lead Batteries Maximize Renewables

Lead batteries are one of the most environmentally sustainable of all battery technologies. Their impressive sustainability profile makes them an ideal partner for growing solar and wind energy storage. There are multiple ways that lead batteries maximize renewables:

  • Stabilize the Grid: Lead batteries bolster the grid, so utilities can avoid replacing or making expensive upgrades to transmission lines designed to send baseload power out from central power stations.
  • Bridge the Transition: As the move to electrification accelerates, the storage capacity of lead batteries helps utilities use a mix of conventional and renewable energy.
  • Regulate Variability: Lead batteries smooth out power variability and prevent disruptions. They store excess energy when demand is low and release it as demand increases.
  •  Reach Remote Areas: Lead batteries store and optimize renewable energy for basic conveniences and medical emergencies in remote and rural areas with no electricity.
  • Enable Micro Grids: Supported by lead batteries, small localized energy storage sources, often called micro grids, reduce loads on large grids by storing renewable energy as backup power.

“Lead batteries are more affordable, safer, more environmentally friendly, and lead is domestically sourced, which really helps our country.”

George Mues, Technical Transfer Manager, Ameren

Renewable Energy Outlook

The energy landscape is quickly changing. Several factors have propelled the growth trajectory of renewable clean energy as an alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear energy:

  • State and federal governments have set aggressive milestones to phase out nonrenewable energy sources (oil, coal and natural gas).
  • Unstable geopolitical climates are creating wide fluctuations in prices for oil and natural gas.
  • Public policies are providing significant incentives to invest in renewable energy.
  • Technological advancements continue to lower costs, making renewables more price competitive.
  • Social pressure from consumers and investors is increasing for environmentally friendly energy solutions to mitigate climate change.

Without question, lead batteries are a vital component to ensure continued growth of sustainable energy sources and to support growing global energy demands:

  • In 2021, more than 20% of U.S. electricity was generated from renewables.
  • California’s 2020 Solar Mandate requires all newly built homes to install solar photovoltaic systems. As of 2022, solar advocates were lobbying for a similar mandate in 11 other states.
  • By 2040, the growth in global energy demand will likely equate to adding the power needs of another China and India.

Proof of Concept: Consortium Launches Study of Lead Battery Solar Microgrids in Homes

To study the future of renewable energy storage, the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) has joined a collaborative research alliance at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) to provide resources for the construction of advanced lead battery microgrids at the Missouri S&T EcoVillage. Two on-campus high-tech homes will serve as “living laboratories” to study renewable energy sources – and storage – for communities of the future.

The goal is to unlock the ability to supply reliable and environmentally sustainable energy to the residential market by using advanced lead battery solar microgrid systems. The solar panels, paired with the advanced lead battery microgrids, are expected to provide 50% of the homes’ electrical needs.

Lead Batteries Power Unique Solar “Living Laboratories”

Learn more about the Missouri S&T Microgrid Industrial Consortium project using advanced lead battery microgrid systems. Watch the short video below.

Roger Miksad

Lead batteries have a bright future, and some incredible innovations are on the horizon.

Roger Miksad, President, Battery Council International