07/03/2020

Smart Spending Could Yield an Energy Storage Breakthrough

The U.S. government is pouring billions of dollars into energy research in the hopes that scientists might discover new technologies to more sustainably keep the lights on for future generations, and as Reuters reports there’s growing hope that researchers are close to an energy storage breakthrough:

Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, which funds projects meant to transform energy markets, has made huge strides over the last few years on next-generation batteries that could make electric cars and renewable energy cheaper and more accessible, Ellen Williams said in an interview this week…Williams said her agency has helped kickstart a dozen high-risk projects based on newer technologies that could soon outperform Tesla batteries. […]

Batteries are in a “Wild West” phase, said Colin Wessells, chief executive of Alveo Energy, a San Francisco area startup developing a high power, long lifecycle battery technology for renewable energy and microgrids, or localized groupings of energy providers.

Only five energy grid storage batteries have been commercialized as researchers and budding entrepreneurs race to bring new technologies to market, he noted. Wessells, whose company has ARPA-E support, said huge manufacturing advances will speed up the commercialization of battery products.

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