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Energy Storage

As renewable energy sources (flows) become a larger part of our energy use, we must increasingly think about how to store energy to use it when we need it. Fuels are a way of storing energy in chemical bonds, while batteries are a way to store electrical energy. Mechanical options like pumping water to a higher location is another way of storing energy.


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Although the physics are simple, one of the most efficient ways of storing electricity is to convert it to mechanical or gravitational potential energy.


Since electrical energy is a continuous flow that must be used as soon as it is generated, it cannot be stored in electrical form. Rechargeable batteries are a way to store electrical energy by converting it into chemical potential energy.

Page last updated: September 17, 2022​


Different fuels can be stored in several different forms: solid (coal), liquid (petroleum, ethanol, diesel, liquified gasses), or gas (natural gas, hydrogen).

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