Energy Storage

Enabling rapid decarbonisation trajectories

Renewable energy can deliver global long-term energy security, but the intermittency of sources such as wind and sunshine is one of the biggest holdbacks of the transition. Energy storage holds the key to unlocking the full potential of renewable sources as it mitigates discrepancies between energy supply and demand, storing the energy until consumers need it most. As solar and wind energy become increasingly prominent in our power generation mix, energy storage is crucial to mitigate the reliance on non-renewable sources like natural gas and coal when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

For the last century, this industry has continued to evolve, adapt, and innovate in response to technological advancements and changing energy requirements. The choice of energy storage system depends on factors such as the amount of energy to be stored, the duration of storage, and the location of the energy source and demand.

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Thermal energy storage (TES) is another critical enabler for the large-scale deployment of renewable energy. This technology stocks thermal energy by heating or cooling a storage medium so that the stored energy can be used at a later time for heating and cooling applications and power generation.

It involves the storage of heat in one of three forms: sensible heat, latent heat and thermo-chemical heat storage.

Sensible heat: Sensible heat storage consists in storing energy is by raising the temperature of a medium with high heat capacity, for instance water or rock. This form of TES is considered to be the most viable option to reduce energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions.

Latent heat: On the other hand, latent storage is mainly dependent on phase change from solid to liquid and vice versa. Phase change materials (PCMs) change their phase at constant temperature (melting or solidification temperature).

Thermo-chemical heat storage: Thermo-chemical heat storage refers to the use of chemical reactions to store heat energy for later use. The heat energy is stored in the form of chemical bonds in a substance and can be later released by reversing the chemical reaction.


Batteries are the oldest, most common, and most accessible form of storage. According to experts, large-scale battery storage capacity is set to grow from 1 GW in 2019 to 80 GW in 2030. In particular, lithium-ion batteries (commonly found in consumer electronics such as mobile phones and electric vehicles) have become the leading energy storage solution for utility-scale power plants.  Battery energy storage systems (BESS) can be deployed at various scales, from homes and businesses to large utility-scale systems, making it a versatile and flexible solution for supporting the growth of renewable energy.

A BESS collects energy from renewable power sources, such as solar and wind, and stores it using battery storage technology. Batteries then discharge and release the energy when needed - during peak demands, power outages, and in a variety of other applications.

Technological advances and competition between different types of lithium-ion batteries have considerably driven down the cost of these batteries, with the average cost having declined by 82% since 2012. As technology advances and the cost of battery storage continues to decrease, batteries are expected to lead the development of more efficient, cost-effective, and longer-lasting energy storage systems.

Green hydrogen

In addition to preventing extended periods of wind and solar curtailment, green hydrogen can help smooth out intermittency issues and seasonal power supply imbalances. It is generated from electrolysis using excess renewable electricity during peak production hours. Green hydrogen carries enormous potential for energy storage because it can be burned when required without any carbon dioxide emissions or used directly in fuel cells.

Learn more about hydrogen


Mechanical energy storage is simply the process of storing energy in a mechanical system for later use. This type of energy storage typically uses kinetic energy from spinning turbines to store energy which is then converted back into electricity when needed.

One common example of mechanical energy storage is pumped hydro storage, where water is pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation one during times of excess energy generation, and then released back down to generate electricity during times of high demand.  Pumped hydro storage is a reliable and cost-effective solution for balancing energy supply and demand. It is particularly useful for storing large amounts of energy over long periods, making it key for integrating renewables into the grid.

Other examples of mechanical energy storage include compressed air energy storage (CAES) and flywheel energy storage. The choice of mechanical energy storage system depends on various factors, such as the amount of energy to be stored, the duration of storage, and the location of the energy source and demand.

Finding leaders within the energy storage sector

This industry requires leaders and a workforce who are equipped to tackle the challenges of our changing energy demands and drive the transition towards a more sustainable energy future.
At Gibson Watts, we understand the crucial role that a dynamic workforce plays in enabling a transition to a more sustainable and secure energy future. We have a proud history of placing top talent for leading and emerging energy storage organisations, including a market leader for long-term duration energy storage (LDES).

Whether you are looking for expertise in energy storage, renewable energy, or energy efficiency, we have the knowledge and resources to connect you with the right people.