A University of Brighton scientist Robert Morgan has reported that turning air into liquid using surplus energy from renewable sources including wind and solar power will help tackle the UK's energy deficit and curb carbon emissions.
Morgan, who participated in a study and co-authored a white paper covering technical aspects and economics of storage with respect to the UK electricity network, has reported liquid air energy storage could create a £1bn industry with 20,000 jobs.
According to the white paper, renewable sources sometimes generate electricity when there is no need of it and such excess electricity can be stored in the form of liquid air meaning it can be converted back into electricity when demand rises, improving the efficiency.
In addition to this, the storage method reduces the overall operating cost of the electricity channel at the levels of potential renewable generation, claims Morgan.
The University of Brighton, alongside liquid air companies and other universities including Birmingham, Queen Mary's College, Leeds, Imperial, and Loughborough, have jointly produced the white paper, Morgan added.
Morgan, principal research fellow at the university's School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, led the write up of one of the chapters covering grid scale storage in the white paper.
The university will continue to work with the industry to curb carbon emissions and increase energy security.
Morgan said, "The economic value of liquid air storage on the electricity grid could be £1 billion per year by 2050 and could support 20,000 jobs in the UK alone. Given the technical leadership the UK has in liquid air storage, there is good potential for building a significant export industry."
Image: Dr Robert Morgan. Photo: courtesy of University of Brighton.