Swiss startup “storing” renewable energy in concrete towers
Borrowing from pumped hydro energy storage principles, a Swiss startup is building energy storage systems using concrete blocks and cranes instead of water and dams. The low cost innovation uses allows the storage of excess energy by using it to power cranes to lift massive concrete blocks. When the energy grid requires additional power, the blocks descend, powering energy turbines that flow into the grid. While the towers require significantly more space than lithium batteries per kilowatt hour, they last longer and can be made of garbage and other recycled materials that do not pose similar difficulties as chemical batteries. Depending on the continued development of battery technology, this concrete tower power bank technology could be a solution to areas with an abundance of land and cheap building materials.