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US Energy Secretary: Should Invest Heavily In Pumped Hydro Elec Storage

Feb 23, 2009 - Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

The federal government and markets should invest " heavily" into pumped hydro electricity and compressed air storage, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Monday.

With the Democrat's strategy to accelerate renewable energy growth, power storage is increasingly important to balance electricity supply and demand, as the sun doesn't always shine or the winds blow when consumers want power.

Water can be pumped into elevated reservoirs and air compressed into chambers when there's good renewable supply but low demand. Then, when demand increases, falling water from the reservoir or compressed air can generate the electricity needed.

President Barack Obama and key Capitol Hill legislators are seeking to establish a federal mandate that would require up to 20%-to-25% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020.

-By Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires, 202-862-9285, ianMtalley@dowjones.com