OXFORD, England - Energy resourcing is probably the biggest challenge facing the world in the 21st Century. The problem is acute in underdeveloped countries where the energy infrastructure is poor but it also exists in the developed nations particularly in the heavy manufacturing and defence industries. Prices are rocketing as countries switch from generating electricity using the traditional fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas to renewable energy sources using the sun, wind and water.
The problem has been exacerbated by the question marks still hanging over the nuclear option - once seen as the answer to all our problems but still beset by safety issues. The sun is the most powerful source of energy but at the moment the biggest problem is the ability to store solar energy safely and compactly.
OXIS Energy and PROINSO believe they have the solutions to this problem and are joining forces to develop a new solar energy storage system capable of capturing the sun's energy safely and reliably. The two companies are currently working on the development of the prototype system and believe it can be rolled-out during 2014.
The solution proposed by PROINSO and OXIS is much more environmentally acceptable and significantly less costly in terms of investment than wind turbines which cause such a blot on the landscape of some of the most beautiful parts of the UK.
"The advantage of OXIS's technology is that it is safe and lightweight. It lends itself to developing a modular structure in the deployment of energy storage systems. Bearing in mind the poor investment structure in the wind turbine sector, there is a compelling case for concentrating on solar. The storage of energy can be much more effective and convenient.
"The sun is always there generating power, even on those cold cloudy days in the depths of winter. This is particularly relevant for military uses," says Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO of OXIS Energy.
According to Mark Randall, General Manager of PROINSO, "As a global solar company PROINSO has witnessed solar plants matching, and increasingly bettering, the cost of energy from other technologies in ever more regions. However, growth has been restricted by the need for safe, reliable and cost effective storage.
"In the first stage, our collaboration with OXIS energy will allows us to offer solutions in testing environments where the price of competing energy is particularly high. PROINSO is frequently challenged by businesses to match energy needs in a range of global locations and this increases our ability to do so. The prototype of the integrated system is scalable with a view, in the medium term, that the cost effectiveness and safety aspects will be an obvious attraction to the distributed grid-connected sector."