Storing energy under our feet

Researchers at Cardiff University are investigating the storage of renewable energy in the soil beneath our feet.

Led by Dr Michael Harbottle a team aims to overcome the limitations of current storage methods such as resource availability, safe operation and a lack of capacity.

The solution will use organic molecules to store excess electrical energy from renewable energy generation under the ground. These molecules are generated by electrically-stimulated microorganisms and stored in pores in the soil or sediment that are consumed as microbial fuel cells when the energy needs to be extracted and energy could be stored almost anywhere as a result.

The project, along with several others, is being supported by a £15m investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through the New Horizons initiative.

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