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As renewable sources of energy like wind and solar gain traction, scientists and engineers are eyeing new ways to store that energy in a cost-efficient manner -- laying the groundwork for a future in which renewables rival fossil fuels in powering our homes and vehicles.

Paul Mutolo, a chemist and director of External Partnerships for the Energy Materials Center at Cornell University, has worked in the energy sector for over 16 years. He says the sector is entering a pivotal new phase and that hydrogen will be an essential component in developing energy storage technologies that take hold.

Mutolo says, "Electrical energy storage (EES) is going to change the way we use energy -- it already is. Tomorrow's grid will be more efficient, less expensive, and greener because of it. This is about to get really interesting: in the next few years, we will introduce EES systems at the neighborhood, or distributed, scale. It will be like a neighborhood sized backup power generator, and a lot more.

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Category: Science