Using Abandoned Mines to Store Renewable Energy

There are roughly 550,000 abandoned mines in the US. This vast amount of space might be the solution for scientists who have been researching ways to store renewable energy. In a study led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, researchers devised a gravity battery using millions of mines worldwide. For this concept, they proposed lowering sand underground when energy is at its peak. Then, using regenerative braking, they converted the sand’s potential energy into actual energy, where it’s stored in the shaft without any loss over time. This method is cheaper than other alternatives, takes advantage of pre-existing connections to power grids and avoids the unsightly infrastructure that commonly comes with energy storage. Learn more about the benefits of this clever system at Popular Mechanics.

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