Energy Vault, an Idealab company that has developed a transformative technology to store energy. CEMEX Ventures’ investment on this company is further reinforced by plans to support rapid market adoption and deployment of Energy Vault’s technology through CEMEX’s strategic network.
- Energy Vault’s transformative 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 become vital if cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy are sought.
- In the absence of longer duration and more cost-effective energy storage, the amount of electricity that can be delivered to the grid from renewable energy sources, even though now widely affordable, has been limited.
- 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 breakthrough 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 for the first time. In April 2019, Energy Vault won the World Changing Idea Award from Fast Company in the Energy category for the unprecedented economic and environmental benefits its technology provides.