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Summary

Core messages

Introduction Technology with great potential

In future, electricity production will become more volatile. This is because nuclear power plants are to be shut down while, at the same time, wind and solar energy plants are being expanded. To ensure that the electricity supply is guaranteed at all times – even in the event of irregular production – large electricity storage systems are required. Adiabatic compressed air energy storage (CAES) plants are ideal as they are efficient, technically feasible and environmentally friendly.

Challenges Technical, structural and environmental challenges

Where could compressed air energy storage (CAES) facilities be built? Which machinery could be used? And how does the compressed air energy storage plant compare from an environmental perspective with other technologies?

Challenges Economic challenges

Questions still remain about the financing of compressed air energy storage. While it is estimated that the cost of capital per kWh is lower than that of pumped-storage systems, it is not yet clear whether compressed air energy storage plants can be profitable.

Recommendations

With regard to adiabatic compressed air storage, the facts are known: the technology is environmentally friendly, efficient and safe. To help it to achieve a break through, however, further measures are needed, especially from politicians, energy suppliers and associations.

All information provided on these pages corresponds to the status of knowledge as of 17.11.2019. See Publication details.