Revolutionary energy storage cycle with carbon free aluminium
One of the main keys – and possibly THE main key - for a climate neutral Europe are technologies for the storage of renewable energies over longer time at an attractive cost and with an acceptable environmental impact. Renewable electricity and heat can be produced cheaply today and short-term storage solutions for evening out mismatches between production and demand are available at low cost. However, technologies for storing renewables for longer time-spans of months or seasons are scarce and costly and thus not widely used yet. Therefore, the REVEAL project develops a game-changing and unique solution to this challenge, using the conversion of aluminium oxide into aluminium metal (Power-to-Al) in an environmentally friendly way to store renewable energy and produce a "renewable fuel" in the form of aluminium. This ground-breaking technical solution will enable to store large amounts of energy with an unmatched energy storage density of over 15 MWh/m3 at an attractively low cost, without losses and with lower environmental impact than today's solutions. For example: cost for converting electricity into a seasonally storable form will be less than 7 ct/kWh, and the easy transportable energy vector can be used for heat and electricity or hydrogen production wherever and whenever needed, in scalable units from few kW to the MW range. Thus, this breakthrough high-density storage solution will enable to cover energy demands flexibly also in small units and off-grid situations, and – above all – in seasons where the demand is much higher than local renewable production could possibly cover. Therefore, with the emerging technology of carbon free reduction of aluminium oxide to aluminium in combination with the release of energy from an aluminium storage vector this project will provide one of the missing pieces of the puzzle for a climate neutral Europe.