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Analysis

Could air be the next big battery breakthrough?

The air all around us could provide an alternative to chemical batteries, helping store energy from unpredictable power sources such as wind and solar. A new project, RICAS 2020, aims to compress air in underground caverns until it heats under the pressure. Elsewhere, British company Gravitricity is proposing to compress air, by creating shafts through which weights can be lowered to create a similar rapid response power source. Could these pioneering technologies come to fruition? Patrick Kingsland reports.

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