Thin film batteries were announced this week based on fascinating technologies. They energy storage devices are still in the lab, but could open up some interesting futures. The cost and density still needs to get better for industrial uses, but for commercial electronics, things are looking good.
Most of the issues with energy and renewable energy etc. are due to the fact that it must be consumed on the spot. For example gasoline in cars has an incredibly high energy density which is easy to capture. This makes finding energy replacements difficult. I blogged about energy density and the problems with the "hydrogen" economy earlier.
Ultimately the best mechanism is storing electrical potential in a fast charging stable environment, i.e. ultra-capacitors. Thin film batteries aren't there yet, but are interesting. The dynamics of energy are as much about peak load management, distribution, and energy management as they are about power generation. Most people get jazzed about sexy new generation techniques of hydrogen, bio fuels etc. In reality, being able to store, management and transport energy efficiently are just as important, in the emerging world even more so. I am big believer in energy storage technologies and wind. The more decentralized energy can become the more interesting the "new energy market will be". Ideally a cheap carbon based ultra capacitor could be far more interesting and replace those lumps of coal and drops of oil we rely on now for energy storage. I am not such a big fan of current ethanol as the production costs still aren't really that efficient. Cellulosic ethanol could be more interesting.