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The Time Has Come for Battery Net Metering

 A proposal in California would reward solar customers who use batteries to export to the grid at night. Both industry and utilities like the idea. Net metering for stored solar power could open up new market interest in battery-paired systems. Net metering compensates solar customers for the power they contribute to the grid — but if they route the electrons through a battery, they’re out of luck. Utilities understandably...

Space weather threatens high-tech life

Shortly after 4 a.m. on a crisp, cloudless September morning in 1859, the sky above what is currently Colorado erupted in bright red and green colors. Fooled by the brightness into thinking it was an early dawn, gold-rush miners in the mountainous region of what was then called the Kansas Territory woke up and started making breakfast. What happened in more developed regions was even more disorienting, and carries a warning...

The Battery Will Kill Fossil Fuels—It’s Only...

Three weeks ago, a U.S. agency sent the clearest signal yet that fossil fuels’ days are numbered. True enough, the carbon-burning economy has been declared to be on its death bed umpteenth times before. But this came with a time frame related to the ultimate killer: the battery. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that so-called energy-storage companies such as Tesla Inc. and AES Corp. can compete against...

New global player CATL sets EV battery sights on E...

The next global powerhouse in the auto industry comes from a small city in a tea-growing province of southeast China, where an unheralded maker of electric-vehicle batteries is planning a $1.3 billion (8.2 billion yuan) factory with enough capacity to surpass the output of Tesla and dwarf the suppliers for battery-powered cars by GM, Nissan and Audi. Contemporary Amperex Technology, or CATL, already sells the most batteries...

The Next Five Years in Energy Storage According to...

  Experts weigh in on the top themes in energy storage. Photo Credit: Shutterstock Broad optimism among the industry on utility engagement   Only 1 percent of attendees feel that natural-gas plants will always out-compete storage, a perspective that may have been shaped by Shayle Kann’s earlier presentation indicating that 4-hour storage begins to compete with peaker plants within four years, and always wins financially...

Pittsburgh’s Microgrids Technology Could Lea...

 Gregory Reed tours a former school now becoming a lab for energy research in Pittsburgh. Reed says he’s focusing on how microgrids can provide reliable, resilient and locally produced energy. Daniella Cheslow/NPR hide caption  Gregory Reed tours a former school now becoming a lab for energy research in Pittsburgh. Reed says he’s focusing on how microgrids can provide reliable, resilient and locally produced...

GM commits to ‘all-electric future’ as...

This photo provided by General Motors Co. shows a Chevrolet Bolt, surrounded by nine electric and fuel cell vehicles covered by tarps. On Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, GM announced the company will produce two new electric vehicles on the Bolt underpinnings in the next 18 months and 20 electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. (Courtesy of General Motors Co. via AP)(AP) General Motors presented its strategic vision on how it...

Lithium-Ion Battery Production Is Surging, but at ...

In his first Tesla Motors master plan, Elon Musk wrote, “The overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution.” Just over a decade later, it looks like that sustainable solution is within reach — solar deployments...

Stanford study says fossil-fueled cars will vanish...

A new study published by Stanford University suggests that fossil-fueled cars will vanish within eight years – and citizens will have no choice but to invest in electric vehicles or similar technologies. This is because the cost of electric vehicles – including cars, buses, and trucks – will ultimately decrease, resulting in the collapse of the petroleum industry. Led by Stanford University economist Tony Seba, the report...

Electric vehicle batteries may get much more valua...

A new study shows they can help the grid without being degraded. One of the hottest questions among energy nerds these days has to do with the interaction of electric vehicles and the electricity grid. Will EVs remain passive consumers of electricity, like toasters or refrigerators, the way they are now? Or will they be able to communicate with the grid and send power back to it when needed? The answer depends on both...

Toyota says it’s on the cusp of a major electric v...

The automaker revealed last week that it had achieved a sought-after improvement in existing lithium-ion technology by developing a “solid state” battery. Solid-state batteries — which, as you may have guessed, have solid electrolytes rather than the usual liquid — are more expensive than traditional lithium-ion cells, but they can charge incredibly quickly and store a lot more power. (Plus, they’re less likely to explode.)...

Lithium-ion batteries finally have a rechargeable ...

The rise of electric vehicles and the quest to find solutions to energy storage for the renewables industry have created a breeding ground for tech experts to develop battery technologies. Last week, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy and the company he currently backs, Ionic Materials, unveiled a solid-state alkaline battery design that they claim would be cheaper and safer than the lithium-ion battery. “What people...

Indiana’s governor just (May, 2017) signed a law t...

Gov. Eric Holcomb just slashed incentives for rooftop solar. In Indiana, solar employs nearly three times as many people as natural gas, according to the Department of Energy. You might think, given the numbers, that legislators would want to protect the state’s nascent solar industry. You would be wrong. On Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill that shreds incentives for rooftop solar, delivering a blow to...

Low interest energy loans would be repaid along wi...

CLEVELAND — A Connecticut-based private finance company has expanded into Ohio to offer commercial building owners up to 30-year loans to pay for energy efficiency upgrades such as heating, cooling and lighting, as well as renewable energy projects such as solar or geothermal. Greenworks Lending is looking for owners of medium and small buildings who want to cut their energy bills without having to pony up a down...

Utilities fighting against rooftop solar are only ...

Batteries are going to make rooftop solar invulnerable Several of the big trends in clean electricity depend, in one way or another, on batteries. How fast batteries get better and cheaper will help determine how fast renewable energy grows, how fast fossil fuel power plants get shut down, and how fast the vehicle fleet electrifies.  The consulting firm McKinsey & Company recently released an analysis noting that...