22 May 2013 17:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Germany-based industrial gases firm Messer is looking at opportunities to use liquid air to store energy, according to a statement on Wednesday.
Messer said that the use of liquid air for grid-based energy storage could increase energy security, cut greenhouse gas emissions and "create an entirely new industry."
Messer said that there was an urgent need for electricity storage solutions in Europe because the transition to renewables has seen a surge in electricity generation from wind and solar power.
Surplus electricity from renewables now threatened to overload the grids, Messer said.
If this surplus energy can be stored in liquid air, it could then be used to provide electricity at peak times or when the wind is not blowing or solar energy absorption is hampered by cloud cover, Messer said.
Messer added that while liquid air is a new energy storage solution, it is based on proven technologies such as air liquefaction and separation for the production of nitrogen or oxygen for industrial use.
Messer said it would work on using liquid air for energy storage with a UK partner which invented the technology.
The company also pointed to a report from a study it supported.
The report - "Liquid Air in the energy and transport systems: Opportunities for industry and innovation in the UK" - was recently presented at a conference at the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering on 9 May 2013. It is available on Messer’s website.
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