An article in the Telegraph by Ambrose Evans-Prichards looks at the current state of energy storage technologies and predicts that the next energy revolution is only 5-10 years away. He reports about how the US Department of Energy funding 75 different energy storage technologies.
From the article:
There are plans for hydrogen bromide, or zinc-air batteries, or storage in molten glass, or next-generation flywheels, many claiming “drastic improvements” that can slash storage costs by 80pc to 90pc and reach the magical figure of $100 per kilowatt hour in relatively short order.
“Storage is a huge deal,” says Ernest Moniz, the US Energy Secretary and himself a nuclear physicist. He is now confident that the US grid and power system will be completely “decarbonised” by the middle of the century.
Ambrose-Prichard states that if these predictions are realized then the need for new nuclear plants like the one under discussion by the British government at Hinkley Point would be eliminated. If you can store the energy from wind and solar efficiently, then the intermittency problem (which requires lots of backup power generation systems for wind and solar installations) would be reduced, and according to Ernie Moniz, could be eliminated within a few decades.