Cemex Ventures has invested in Energy Vault, an Ideallab company which has developed a transformative technology to store energy.
Energy Vault’s technology is inspired by pumped hydro plants that rely on the power of gravity and the movement of water to store and discharge electricity. The solution is expected to:
- Solve a key challenge for renewables, which have struggled to replace, in a significant manner, fossil fuel power due to production unpredictability and intermittency of wind and sunlight. Consequently, energy storage solutions that can harness energy from renewable sources become vital if cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy are sought.
- In the absence of longer duration and more cost-effective energy storage, the amount of electricity that can be delivered to the grid from renewable energy sources, even though now widely affordable, has been limited.
- Energy Vault’s system enables renewables to deliver baseload power below the cost of fossil fuels 24 hours a day.
Energy Vault’s system replaces water with custom made concrete bricks using low-cost materials. The bricks are combined with its patented system design and proprietary algorithm-based software to operate a newly designed crane. The crane orchestrates the energy storage tower and electricity charge/discharge while accounting for a variety of factors, including energy supply and demand volatility, weather elements and other variables such as inertia and system deflection.
According to Cemex, Energy Vault can deliver all the benefits of a gravity-based pumped hydro system with lower price, higher round trip efficiency, without the requirement for specific land topographies and negative environmental or wildlife impacts.
Robert Piconi, chief executive officer and co-founder, Energy Vault, says: “The combination of Cemex’s smart concrete solutions, significant global infrastructure and now its strategic investment will accelerate our ability to enable renewable energy to replace fossil fuels 24 hours a day.”
For more information on Energy Vault, please visit energyvault.ch