How high-pressure water stored underground may reshape energy storage

In this episode of the Decoding Innovation podcast, Quidnet Energy CEO Joe Zhou discusses the use of innovative geomechanical methods and its impact on the global energy industry.

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Currently, pumped hydro is the only form of commercialized long-duration energy storage available globally. Quidnet Energy — with its innovative use of geomechanical methods to deliver long-term energy storage — looks set to transform the global energy industry.

Joe Zhou, CEO of Quidnet Energy, explains in detail how the company uses conventional oil and gas techniques to effectively put the weight of the mountain on top of the stored water. Quidnet’s technology stores energy underground in the form of high-pressure water, with the help of impermeable and shallow rock.

Joe also shares his views on the differences between the business models of startups that build their products in a lab, versus those, such as Quidnet, that harness a real-world resource. Such startups must collaborate with regulators, communities and financiers from the start — and share with them the business risk and future rewards involved. 

Key takeaways:

  • About US$300b worth of pumped hydro has been built globally — but we are running out of viable mountainous sites to meet the future energy consumption needs.
  • Over the next three decades, the demand for global energy requirement is likely to rise by 80% — due to electrification of transportation, heating, industrial uses and economic growth.
  • Quidnet is planning to become a grid-scale solution, built in modular pieces. Like wind farms, the Quidnet technology aims to construct single-megawatt modules spread across a field, electrically linked to a single point of interconnection to the electricity grid. 

For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available. Read the transcript.


Mitali Sharma

Mitali Sharma
Former host, Decoding Innovation podcast

Joe Zhou

Joe Zhou
CEO, Quidnet Energy


Episode 15


25m 56s