The availability of energy is one of the vital requirements for a settlement on Mars. Solar power and wind turbines are subject to changing weather conditions, especially during the martian night, which makes energy storage necessary.
Most conventional schemes (e.g. batteries and flywheels) are practical on a small scale, but do not scale up very easily.
Compressed-air storage is a recently upcoming technology to store large amounts of energy.
Nuclear power has been considered as the preferred energy source for most plans for medium- to long-term human expeditions to Mars. However, this is scarcely an option for an autonomous colony due to the vast effort of the nuclear enrichment process.
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