CEMEX Ventures has invested in Energy Vault, an Idealab company that has developed a transformative technology to store energy. The new investment is further reinforced by plans to support rapid market adoption and deployment of Energy Vault’s technology through CEMEX’s strategic network. This investment follows a previously announced technology partnership with CEMEX to provide concrete and other composite material technology for Energy Vault’s storage towers.
Courtesy of Energy Vault
Energy Vault’s energy storage technology solves 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 are of critical importance if cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy are sought.
For the first time, Energy Vault’s system enables renewables to deliver baseload power below the cost of fossil fuels 24 hours a day.
Energy Vault’s technology was inspired by pumped hydro plants that rely on the power of gravity and the movement of water to store and discharge electricity. This solution is based on the same well-understood principles of physics and mechanical engineering used in those plants. Energy Vault’s system replaces water with custom made concrete bricks through an innovative use of low-cost materials. The massive 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.
As a result, 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. Importantly, with Energy Vault’s longer duration and more cost-effective energy storage, electricity from renewables can be delivered for less than the price of fossil fuels 24 hours a day.
“Energy storage that enables power to be delivered for less than the cost of fossil fuels is critical as the world shifts away from its reliance on carbon-based fuels to renewable energy,” said Gonzalo Galindo, CEO of CEMEX Ventures. “Energy Vault’s storage technology is transformational, and we’re extremely pleased to broaden our relationship and support the company’s efforts. The investment is also important because it complements the CEMEX R&D partnership and will accelerate our corporate objectives to achieve a carbon-free industrial footprint.”
Fantastic. The best low tech environmental and fire safe option for electrical energy storage that is widely available, improves fire safety and eliminates chemical use, transport, and mining complications of most other energy storage options. The plant is a work of art that can be placed close to loads or generators. Compared to other options, the smooth operation, ease of maintenance and moving or decommissioning are environmentally superior, much simpler, and may be expected to be among the lowest cost options.