Stacking Concrete Blocks is a Surprisingly Efficient Way to Store Energy

By Akshat Rathi – Re-Blogged From Quartz

Thanks to the modern electric grid, you have access to electricity whenever you want. But the grid only works when electricity is generated in the same amounts as it is consumed. That said, it’s impossible to get the balance right all the time. So operators make grids more flexible by adding ways to store excess electricity for when production drops or consumption rises.

About 96% of the world’s energy-storage capacity comes in the form of one technology: pumped hydro. Whenever generation exceeds demand, the excess electricity is used to pump water up a dam. When demand exceeds generation, that water is allowed to fall—thanks to gravity—and the potential energy turns turbines to produce electricity.

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How China Is Muscling In on Lithium-Ion Batteries

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • In spite of potential global pushback against Beijing’s investments, Chinese companies will acquire control of a majority of the lithium-ion battery market, giving the country a significant advantage in a sector of growing geopolitical importance.
  • The United States will exploit economies of scale and focus on finding domestic sources of materials as it attempts to carve out a market share amid China’s growing dominance.
  • Japan and Korea will have the most success penetrating markets in which there is significant pushback against Chinese investment, such as in North America, Australia and parts of Europe.
  • Europe will likely fall behind because its battery manufacturing capacity does not have the ability to meet its demand.
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Sparks Fly Between Chile and Peru

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • Chile’s relationship with Peru has improved since 2014, when the International Court of Justice issued a final ruling over their territorial dispute. That trend will continue this year as both countries prepare to connect their electricity systems.
  • Chile’s need to increase the electricity supply to its growing lithium industry will play a key role in the drive for energy integration projects with Peru.
  • Chile’s recently elected president, Sebastian Pinera, will assume office in March and is likely to continue pursuing this trend.

A map of South America shows the long-disputed borders between Chile and Peru.

(BEYHAN YAZAR/iStock)

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New Batteries Use “Rust” for Power Storage

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Renaissance of the Iron–Air Battery

Jülich researchers show charging and discharging reactions during operation with nanometre precision

Jülich, 3 November 2017 – Iron–air batteries promise a considerably higher energy density than present-day lithium-ion batteries. In addition, their main constituent – iron – is an abundant and therefore cheap material. Scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich are among the driving forces in the renewed research into this concept, which was discovered in the 1970s. Together with American Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), they successfully observed with nanometre precision how deposits form at the iron electrode during operation. A deeper understanding of the charging and discharging reactions is viewed as the key for the further development of this type of rechargeable battery to market maturity. The results were published in the renowned journal Nano Energy.

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In Defense of the Electric Car – part2

[Full disclosure: I own an electric car, and I think they are useful for city transportation. However, having owned one for a decade, I can say that it hasn’t been practical or cost-effective. John Hardy believes they are the future, I’ll let you, the reader, decide. – Anthony Watts]


The demise of the Western auto industry: Part 2 – the problem

By John Hardy – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Part 1 of this series here, expressed the view that regardless of “the environment”, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are poised to inflict a massive disruption on the automotive industry, and outlined the strengths of the technology and some of the reasons that it is happening now.

In Part 2, I outline what I see as the main issues for Western automakers. They need to wake up and smell the coffee: the history of technology is strewn with examples of once-great companies that failed to adapt to a technology advance and went to the wall. Traditional Western automakers may just do the same. They appear to have failed to realise that gearing up for EVs is not just business as usual with a different drivetrain. In particular they have until very recently shown no sign of thinking about fast charge, sourcing the cells that go into batteries, the dealer network or maintenance.

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China to Ban Gasoline Powered Passenger Cars (Maybe)

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The purveyors of greenschist (a geologically inspired euphemism for green sh!t) seem to have an obsession with a phrase that they clearly do not comprehend: Tipping point.

Electric Cars Reach a Tipping Point

David Fickling

Sep 10, 2017

Say goodbye to gasoline. The world’s slow drift toward electric cars is about to enter full flood.

China, one-third of the world’s car market, is working on a timetable to end sales of fossil-fuel-based vehicles, the country’s vice minister of industry and information technology, Xin Guobin, told an industry forum in Tianjin on Saturday. That would probably see the country join Norway, France and the U.K. in switching to a wholly electric fleet within the lifetime of most current drivers.

[…]

Bloomberg Gadfly

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Fair Trade for Thee, But Not for Me

Imagine what a Tesla or wind turbine would cost if the Left followed its own “principles”

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

“Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting someone else,” Ben & Jerry’s and Fair Trade co-founder Jerry Greenfield likes to tell us. Let’s hope he doesn’t drive an electric vehicle, doesn’t use a laptop or cell phone, and doesn’t rely on wind or solar power.

We’re constantly confronted with slogans and lectures about fair trade, human rights, sustainability, environmental and social justice, little people versus Big Corporations. Most of these subjective terms reflect perspectives and agendas of the political left, and are intended to advance those worldviews and stifle any discussion about them. But most of their self-avowed adherents never look beneath the surface of their own purchases. Indeed, they would have no standards at all if they didn’t have double standards.

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