‘The largest battery ever is just under our feet’
Windmills and solar panels are great ways to generate green energy. But what if there is no wind? How can we stock up on solar energy to get through a cloudy day? Hadi Hajibeygi is determined to find the answer to this burning question. He looks into how to use our subsurface as a battery to safely store and retrieve hydrogen.
Today’s batteries do not have the capacity to store even a small fraction of the amount of green energy we require. For example, eight billion Tesla car batteries would be needed to have the Netherlands run on green energy for a single year. Hence, the urgent call for finding alternative ways for renewable energy storage. This starts with converting wind and solar energy into a green fuel like hydrogen.
“These molecules hold a lot of energy. But you need a lot of space to store them as well,” says Hadi Hajibeygi, associate professor at the faculty of civil engineering and geosciences. “So where to store this much energy? The answer is to unlock the space available underground.” To get there, Hadi’s goal is first to predict what happens when green energy is stored underground.
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