With the rapid growth of renewable power generation, economically storing large quantities of solar- and wind-generated electricity may become as important as renewable power itself. The combination of renewable power generation and energy storage can overcome the variability of renewable power generation alone and create the opportunity for renewable generation to provide base-load electricity. For peak power usage, the integration of renewable power and storage of excess electricity has several significant and positive impacts: expanding the renewable energy portion of total electricity generation, improving the peak-load response, and coordinating the electricity supply and demand over the grid. Several energy storage approaches exist, with mechanical, chemical, and electrical methods either in use now or being developed. Comparing their efficiencies as well as their economic uses for different scales and applications helps determine the right technology for the right purpose. This paper will study the possibility of using thermal energy storage as a means for electricity storage, and compare it to other energy storage methods including batteries, flywheels, compressed air, and pumped hydropower.

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