Energy Storage Technologies Resolving Curtailment Issues for Renewable Power

However, one of the biggest challenges faced by renewable power is curtailment, where excess energy is wasted due to system limitations and lack of demand.

Fortunately, with advancements in energy storage technologies, curtailment issues can be successfully addressed. These innovative solutions not only increase the integration of renewables but also enhance grid stability and reliability. In this article, we will explore some of the top energy storage technologies available and how they effectively resolve curtailment issues for renewable power.

Lithium-ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries have become synonymous with energy storage due to their high energy density, long-life span, and fast response time. These batteries have transformed the way we power our smartphones and electric vehicles, and now they are playing a pivotal role in renewable energy storage.

Key advantages of lithium-ion batteries:

  • High energy density allows for compact installations, reducing space requirements.
  • Fast response and high cycling capability enable efficient energy dispatch when needed.
  • Long-life span reduces the need for frequent replacements, leading to cost savings.

According to a report by BloombergNEF, the global energy storage market is expected to grow from 9 gigawatts (GW) in 2019 to over 1,095 GW by 2040. This exponential growth is driven by the increasing adoption of lithium-ion batteries in renewable energy projects across the globe.

Find more about the growth of the energy storage market here.

Pumped Hydro Storage

Pumped hydro storage is one of the oldest forms of energy storage, and it remains one of the most reliable and cost-effective methods available today. This technology involves pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir during periods of excess energy, and then releasing it through turbines to generate electricity during high-demand periods.

Key advantages of pumped hydro storage:

  • Substantial energy storage capacity allows for long-duration storage, even up to several weeks.
  • High round-trip efficiency results in minimal energy losses during the storage and retrieval process.
  • Cost-effective, as the technology relies on existing infrastructure like dams and reservoirs.

Pumped hydro storage accounts for the majority of installed energy storage capacity globally, with a rating of 159 GW by the end of 2020, according to the International Hydropower Association. This proven technology plays a critical role in resolving curtailment issues and balancing renewable power supply with demand.

Learn more about pumped hydro storage here.

Flow Batteries

Flow batteries are a promising energy storage technology that offers scalability and high energy output. These batteries store energy in chemical solutions contained in separate tanks, which can be easily scaled up by increasing the size of the tanks and adjusting the flow rate.

Key advantages of flow batteries:

  • Scalable and customizable energy storage capacity to meet varying demand requirements.
  • Long-life span, allowing for decades of operation without significant degradation.
  • Safe and environmentally friendly, as they use non-toxic and recyclable materials.

Flow batteries are gaining traction in grid-scale energy storage projects, with a cumulative capacity of over 800 megawatts (MW) deployed worldwide, as reported by Wood Mackenzie. This technology offers excellent potential for resolving curtailment issues by effectively absorbing and dispatching excess renewable energy.

Discover more about the advantages of flow batteries here.

Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES)

Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) is an innovative technology that uses excess energy to compress air and store it in underground caverns or tanks. When electricity demand rises, the compressed air is released and expanded through turbines to generate electricity.

Key advantages of CAES:

  • Large-scale energy storage capacity can be achieved using existing underground caverns or low-cost above-ground tanks.
  • Long-duration storage capabilities allow for sustained electricity generation over extended periods.
  • High round-trip efficiency ensures minimum energy losses during the storage and retrieval process.

CAES systems are gaining attention, with notable projects being developed in countries like Germany and the United States. The global CAES market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% from 2021 to 2026, as stated in a report by MarketsandMarkets. This technology plays a crucial role in tackling curtailment issues and maintaining a stable grid.

Learn more about CAES here.


Renewable power generation brings immense environmental benefits, but curtailment issues hinder its maximum utilization. Energy storage technologies, including lithium-ion batteries, pumped hydro storage, flow batteries, and CAES, provide effective solutions to tackle curtailment challenges while improving the reliability and resilience of the grid. As the world continues its transition towards a sustainable future, the integration of energy storage technologies will play a vital role in unlocking the full potential of renewable power.