Switzerland Debuts Massive “Water Battery” That Sustainably Stores Energy

Alternative energy solutions have been at the forefront of people’s minds as global warming threatens to destroy life as we know it. If something isn’t done – and fast – the damage from global warming could be irreversible.

To reduce the number of fossil fuels used, people have been looking to use other energy sources, like solar power and wind power. However, renewable energy isn’t without its own challenges and setbacks.

Photo: YouTube/Nant de Drance SA

While sustainable, these energy sources are dependent on varying environmental conditions and also require battery storage to keep the energy for times when conditions aren’t favorable.

Traditional batteries require the mining of minerals, like lithium, that are harmful to the environment. If we want a truly sustainable and renewable energy solution, we must include energy storage in that plan.

Researchers are working on experimental battery storage methods, but there’s one renewable storage option that’s tried and true: the water battery.

Photo: YouTube/Nant de Drance SA

In Switzerland, a large-scale water battery project was recently completed in a massive win for the environment.

The water battery, dubbed the Nant de Drance, started back in Septemebr of 2008. 14 years later, it was finally complete.

According to the inauguration announcement, the green power plant has the capacity to power 900,000 homes – wow!

Photo: YouTube/Nant de Drance SA

It works using simple physics: When excess energy is captured, it pumps water from the lower part of the reservoir to the upper part of the reservoir. When that stored energy is needed, the water is channeled back down from the top, passing through massive turbines that spin to “harvest” the energy. It’s simple but effective.

“The plant entered operation on 1 July 2022 and is proving to be extremely reliable,” officials wrote in the inauguration announcement.

You can see some of the work that went into building the system in the videos below:

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