The development of energy storage technologies has lagged other technology development for decades. That is now rapidly changing, with consumers demanding longer life portable electronics, incentives for electric and fuel cell vehicles, and localized energy storage needed for the smart grid – particularly for renewable energy sources. There will be spectacular successes and failures for those involved – which has already been demonstrated in the past few years.
Technology development varies widely from innovation in the materials used to the structure and manufacturing process of the energy storage device. Some of the options will replace existing energy storage technologies, and many will be used together in different combinations for different purposes, such as supercapacitors with batteries or fuel cells in some vehicles.