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Berkeley's Energy Storage Visionary

The grail of energy storage will trigger steep growth in renewables.

LightSail Energy, a Berkeley, Calif., startup, is set on coming up with the world’s best energy storage system relying on compressed air to store grid power.

Danielle Fong, co-founder of LightSail in 2009, has picked up $70 million from Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures and others to fund her efforts, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

Danielle Fong // daniellefong.com

Industry exprts predict that the energy storage market will grow from about $111 million in 2013, to $498 million this year nad $682 million in 2017, according to figures cited by the Journal.

Fond told the newspaper, “Ultimately, what we’ve gotten done has gotten us to within striking distance of commercializing two breakthrough products in four years: compressed-air energy storage, and gas storage, each in multibillion-dollar markets, each in crying need of a solution.”

The search for the grail of energy storage, if successful, will trigger steep growth in renewables, experts say.

Energy storage and its potential will be explored in depth at the upcoming California Renewables Rush conference in San Francisco, April 6. Leading energy storage researchers from Argonne National Laboratory and the Electric Power Research Institute will discuss the future of energy storage at the day-long conference.

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