Some may note the decreased output on my part on this blog. True. I’ve heard the same thing too many times, I’ve said (or wrote) the same thing on the same subjects too many times and for all that repetition the same bleakness is staring me in the face ever morning that I boot up the magic mirror.
But this is interesting.
Lighter Cheaper More Powerful Battery Changes Renewable Economics
Guest essay by Roger E. Sowell, Esq. Marina del Rey, California
It is not often on SLB that I use the phrase “game-changer.” Most things progress, if they progress at all, in small increments. This time, though, is one of those that deserves the phrase game-changer.
The innovation is the low-cost, light-weight but powerful battery developed by Nobel prize-winner Alan Heeger, PhD of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). The company is Biosolar . see link to http://www.biosolar.com
The battery, which is now patent-pending at the US and other patent offices, is expected to cost less than $100 per kWh (about one-fourth that of the best batteries today), to weigh less and therefore provide longer range to cars, to have a greater power density (power to weight ratio), have a faster charging time and much longer life. Another substantial positive is the material itself, made from common acetylene. There are no rare earths to mine and extract, no toxic residues. The halogen dopants are also common, cheap, and abundant.
Now coal fired power plants would be the perfect source of power to charge these new batteries.
Does this make electric cars a viable option? Time will tell.
Most people I know assume I simply don’t want solar or wind at all. No, what I don’t want is the Federal favoritism and subsidies that are doled out on a preferential basis to political cronies. Most of those ventures were nothing more than legally approved and protected con jobs to extract cash and most if not all failed; crashing and burning and wiping out billions in Federal guarantees and loans.
However, even this technology isn’t going to do it for wind and solar. No matter how perfect or cheap the storage technology; the bottom line is that wind and solar are too diverse an energy source and require too much area. They are and always will be a very limited and expensive energy source. If I lived on a island in an old lighthouse, then maybe. The birdkill from the wind turbine blades would be an protein supplement in that case.