The world is discussing about green, renewable energy from solar, water, waves or wind. But the real key to get more independent from fossile resources is the battery. Without a storage all our efforts for producing renewable energy is just theatre for the masses. A functioning energy network is backed up by fast reacting power plants, such as gas or coal plants, in order to balance the usage peaks when wind or sun is not available. In countries like Austria, where we are lucky to own a lot of water power plants, we are using a really old technology to store our energy overproduction. This technology is called reservoir power station where water is simply pumped in a reservoir at a higher level, in order to reactivate a turbine when running back down. A really simple technology and completely failsafe and without the need for complex technology.
Another possibility is to research a new generation of power accumulators. In this talk at the TED 2012 conference, Donald Sadoway talks about a new generation of liquid power batteries which he and his team developed at MIT.