The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)—a division of the Department of Energy— says it’s making significant breakthroughs in energy storage products.
ARPA-E’s role is to provide funding for early-stage research projects revolving around energy, writes The Guardian. Typically, ARPA-E will nurture the development of these new technologies for a three-year period. The next step is attracting more funding from other institutions like the Pentagon in order to continue these advancements.
The agency’s director Ellen Williams talked with the publication at ARPA-E’s annual conference where investors and scientists gather to discuss the future of energy. She said the battery storage technology developed under her organization’s oversight are, “on the verge of transforming America’s electrical grid,” within the next five to 10 years.
Williams didn’t go into detail about certain projects, but one successful initiative she talked about were large-scale energy storage systems, which can lay the groundwork for companies to build solar and wind capabilities into existing power grids. ARPA-E researchers are also exploring new materials as a potential alternative for lithium-ion batteries, as well as develop more efficient super-conductors, too.
Energy sources like solar and wind don’t guarantee a persistent stream of power, according to CNBC. A perfect storage system would help the world transition into a low-carbon environment and could aid consumers in saving an estimated $3.4 billion per year.
The key, though, would be to update regulatory frameworks to support the development of an innovative storage structure.