Is it possible to solve the renewable energy storage problem? Let’s consider Malta-X
At PARSAN CROSS our approach to finding innovative development solutions adheres to two very simple principles: First, any innovative development solution must address a huge problem in the developing world, as evidenced by a correlation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Second, this innovative development solution must employ relatively feasible technology appropriately scaled and nuanced for our (Latin America and the Caribbean) region. Periodically, we will showcase an innovative development solution in this thought leadership blog. This week we take a look at Malta-X.
1) Who is the Innovative Solution Finder? X (formerly Google X), the American semi-secret research and development facility founded by Google and operating as a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.
2) What’s the Huge Problem? Finding a clean, cost eﬀective, grid-scale technology for storing wind or solar energy in less windy and less sunny times.
Source Malta-x In Latin America and the Caribbean there is no shortage of wind and solar energy sources. Wind and solar is clean, becoming increasingly inexpensive and is signiﬁcantly contributing to lowering carbon emissions. However, up until the innovation of Malta-X, there was no clean and cost-effective grid-scale technology for storing wind or solar energy on less windy and less sunny days.
3) What’s the SDG Correlation? SDG Goal 7 which is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Speciﬁcally, Target 7.B which is to expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support.
4) What’s the Relatively Feasible Technology? - Malta X- or the ability to store electricity as heat in giant tanks of molten salt. Current technologies do exist to store electricity but unfortunately the solutions are expensive and unable to efﬁciently capture all of e energy source for storage. Malta-X has been able to design a system which stores electricity as as heat (in high temperature molten salt) and cold (in a low temperature liquid similar to antifreeze). In Malta’s system the energy can actually be stored for weeks and is stored as thermal energy -both heat and cold.
5) Is it piloted and or scaled in Latin America or the Caribbean? Not yet. However, Malta X is moving quickly to test the commercial viability and are looking for cutting edge, innovative industry partners to help bring bring the project to life.
6) Parsan Cross message: Once Malta X is able to build a megawatt-scale prototype plant hopefully somewhere in Latin American and or the Caribbean, Parsan Cross will be ready to work with local government ofﬁcials to ensure that the local enabling environment, from a political, legislative, regulatory and legal perspective, is appropriate to ensure that Malta -X technology is able to radically transform the lives of so many.
PARSAN CROSS is a global strategic advisory ﬁrm focusing on Latin American and the Caribbean as a region and emerging countries around the world.