America's utilities are exploring ways to store electricity from renewable energy sources until it's needed, chiefly by developing large batteries capable of storing the output from intermittent energy sources such as wind turbines. So far, though, battery technologies are too expensive to make storage a cost-effective option. "If battery costs remain what they are today, that's not so good and we're likely to look for different kinds of technology," says Todd Strauss, senior director for energy policy planning and analysis at Pacific Gas and Electric.

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