Investment at the highest levels is taking a new approach to investing in energy storage, showing an understanding of the importance of energy storage investment and in the security of the electricity grid. SoftBank, a multinational conglomerate company, has invested $110 million in a relative newcomer to the scene and a company that the Optimist Daily has featured in the past. Unlike lithium-ion batteries and other scientifically intensive forms of energy storage, Energy Vault has created an unusually simple mode of generating and storing energy using only cement, sand, cranes, and motors.
Described as “fifth-grade physics”, the Swiss concrete block storage system is now able to build a full-scale prototype that will store nearly a month’s worth of energy at a very, very low cost. Moving forward, given Energy Vault is able to produce a successful and large system with its new investor, long-term energy storage will solve many problems of how to meet the world’s energy needs with renewable energy generation and storage.