A big downside of renewable energy is its periodicity: There are times when the sun doesn’t shine and wind doesn’t blow. The solution is storing surplus energy for use during lean times. Unfortunately, conventional lithium-ion batteries are too expensive to play a major role.
The Biden administration believes there may be a viable alternative in hydrogen energy. The U.S. Department of Energy is making a $504.4 million loan to the the Advanced Clean Energy Storage Project, The Hill reports. The money would support a facility in in Delta, Utah, that would create and store clean hydrogen energy.
Hydrogen energy involves causing chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen in a battery-like cell to produce electricity and water. This process requires energy to complete, and different types of energy including renewables and fossil fuels can be used to make it happen. It is considered clean when sources such as solar and wind that don’t emit planet-warming gases are used.
The U.S. Department of Energy hopes to reduce the cost of hydrogen energy storage by 80 percent.