From Technology Review: Perhaps it’s not surprising that people from countries with experience holding back the sea see the potential of building an artificial island to store wind energy. Belgian cabinet member, Johan Vande Lanotte, has introduced a planning proposal for a man-made atoll placed in the North Sea to store energy. The idea is to place the island a few kilometers off shore near a wind farm, according to Vande Lanotte’s office. When the wind farm produces excess energy for the local electricity grid, such as off-peak times in the overnight hours, the island will store the energy and release it later during peak times. It would use the oldest and most cost-effective bulk energy storage there is: pumped hydro.